Florida-Georgia game staying in Jacksonville through at least 2023
Agreement includes option to extend through 2025
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Florida-Georgia football game is staying in Jacksonville through at least 2023.
Mayor Lenny Curry made the announcement Friday morning that the game branded as the "World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party" will remain on the First Coast for years to come.
The agreement includes an option to extend through 2025, Curry said in a tweet posted Friday morning.
The game has been played in the city since 1933, with the exception of two years while then-Jacksonville Municipal Stadium was being renovated in 1993-94.
The contract between the teams to play in Jacksonville was set to expire after the 2021 game at TIAA Bank Field.
The future of the game in Jacksonville has been a hot-button topic, more so in recent years. Georgia coach Kirby Smart reignited the debate, saying last spring that he was in favor of a home-and-home setup. The downside for the Bulldogs, according to Smart, is that they lose a home game -- and a recruiting weekend in Athens -- every other year.
The neutral site also doesn't feel so neutral for Georgia.
Athens to Jacksonville is roughly a five-and-a-half-hour drive. Gainesville is about 70 miles from Jacksonville.
But the financial incentives to keep the game in Jacksonville make it worth it for the programs. The current contract that runs through 2021 guarantees each school $250,000 each year. They also split a $250,000 signing bonus and receive other financial incentives for travel.
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