Marc Weiszer @marcweiszer
There is much uncertainty about this college football season, but signs have been pointing to reduced attendance in stadiums if games are to be played.
That looks like that will be the case for Georgia’s annual ‘Cocktail Party’ football game with Florida in Jacksonville on Oct. 31 at TIAA Bank Field if it is played there as scheduled.
The NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars announced Friday that it anticipated approximately 25 percent capacity for each home game in 2020.
The club said it determined that in compliance with state and local authorities following CDC social distancing guidelines. It did so “with the health and well-being of everyone in mind,” during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The listed capacity for Jaguars games is 67,000, but additional seating has been added for Georgia-Florida.
The game drew 84,879 last season with the tickets split 50-50 between Bulldog and Gator fans.
If TIAA Bank Field is at a quarter of capacity, that is 16,750. With tickets split between both schools, that’s 8,375 per school in regular stadium configuration.
Georgia listed its projected ticket revenue for the 2020 game in Jacksonville at $3.35 million.
The game is under contact in Jacksonville through 2023 under an extension agreed to last fall. Georgia expected to make about $5 million more playing at the neutral site instead of home-and-home in 2020 and 2021 before the pandemic.
Georgia and Florida have played annually in Jacksonville since 1933 except for when the stadium was being renovated in 1994 and 1995.
The Jaguars said they were working with Ticketmaster to develop a new seating chart for their season ticket holders “that allows for six feet of distance between unaffiliated parties,” according to its website.
The team said the club and its stadium partners have determined that fans attending games will be required to wear face coverings and the stadium will transition to cashless payment for most transactions.
Plans for fans for home games at Sanford Stadium have not been determined but the school has been mapping out several different scenarios.
With the Big Ten announcing Thursday that it will play conference only games, SEC athletic directors will meet Monday in Birmingham in person in a previously scheduled meeting where more discussions about this season are anticipated.