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Georgia/Florida staying in Jax


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ATHENS, Ga. (AP) -- Forget Atlanta or going back to campus. The annual Georgia-Florida football game is staying in Jacksonville.

The Georgia athletic board endorsed a new six-year contract Wednesday that would keep the game formerly known as "The World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party" in the northeast Florida city through 2016. Athletic director Damon Evans can now finalize negotiations with the city of Jacksonville and Florida officials, considered nothing more than a formality.

Evans pointed to the game's rich tradition, calling it "part of the fiber of college football." He also said CBS agreed to televise it nationally every year at 3:30 p.m., a time popular with out-of-town fans and ensuring the bitter rivalry continues to receive national exposure.

The current deal ends after the 2010 game, and there was speculation Georgia might want to play the Gators at Sanford Stadium in alternating years instead of 84,000-seat Jacksonville Municipal Stadium on an annual basis. Also, officials in Atlanta had proposed playing the game at least once every four years at the Georgia Dome -- much closer to Georgia's Athens campus.

"An extraordinary amount of study has been done on the various options available and a great deal of input has been gathered," Evans said. "After all the fact-gathering and evaluation of those factors, I'm convinced that moving forward with discussions on extending the contract in Jacksonville is the appropriate way to go. I'm delighted the board feels the same way."

Other factors cited by Evans: The economic impact the game has on southeastern Georgia, where many Bulldog fans stay for the weekend, and the chance to boost Georgia's recruiting efforts in the state of Florida, one of the country's most fertile recruiting areas.

The game has been held in Jacksonville every year since 1933, except for a two-year hiatus in 1994-95 when it was played on each school's campus while Municipal Stadium was undergoing renovations to prepare it for the arrival of the NFL Jaguars.

The game picked up its "Cocktail Party" moniker during the 1950s, which came to symbolize the raucous fans from Georgia and Florida who descended on Jacksonville each year.

In 2006, however, both schools requested the nickname no longer be used after the deaths of two Florida students. Officials felt it worked against their efforts to promote more responsible use of alcohol.

In addition to the Georgia-Florida game, the athletic board also approved plans for an expanded concourse at Stegeman Coliseum, the school's basketball arena, and a new multifunction facility behind the north stands of Sanford Stadium.

Read more: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2009/foot...l#ixzz0Ry92jXFu

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I would have liked to seen a game in the GA Dome once every 4 years so I'd be able to go to the game more often but it's one of the great traditions in college football, so I don't have a problem with it.

take away the "cocktail" thing and it's garbage. Florida owns ya'll there so why not move on.

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are you serious? It's the "Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party"...........................................................................


I know what the game is called dude.

I just don't know what you mean by take away the "cocktail" thing and it's garbage.

Are you saying you want to take Cocktail out of it and have it be called The World's Largest Outdoor Party? I just don't understand what you're saying.

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