Published Monday, March 23, 2009
Attention all Georgia Bulldog football fans. And the handful of Florida Gator fans around here can listen up too.
How would you like for the annual Georgia/Florida football game to be played in the Georgia Dome in Atlanta instead of in Jacksonville?
That could happen. Here's the deal.
In two years the contract for the game will be up for renewal. Gary Stokan, president of the Atlanta Sports Council, is lobbying UGA Athletics Director Damon Evans to switch the game to the Dome once every four years when the new contract is signed.
UGA isn't talking about the idea. Most reaction so far has come from South Georgia folks who want the game to stay in Jacksonville because of the economic impact on the South Georgia coast and other areas below the gnat line. South Georgia Bulldogs consider the game their "home game" each year.
Many Georgia fans would like to see the rivalry game location changed. The Jacksonville site seems too much like a home game for the Gators, even though tickets to the game are split evenly between the two schools.
Many fans would like for the game to be moved to the campus stadiums. That would probably be our preference, but that's not likely to happen because of the success of the game in Jacksonville and because of the wishes of the South Georgia Bulldog crowd.
If you are not going to move the game to the college campuses, we would offer a compromise. Alternate the game between Jacksonville and Atlanta. Play one year in Jacksonville -- close to the Gators' campus in Gainesville, Fla. Play the next year in Atlanta -- close to the Bulldogs' campus in Athens. That would be fair to both teams, and it would allow South Georgia to have its game every other year.