UGA, the University of Florida and the city of Jacksonville have agreed to measures to improve safety for students and others who attend the annual Georgia-Florida football game this year. The institutions hope to reduce the possibility of accidents and violence that have marred celebrations during the game weekend over the past several years, including the deaths of two UF students.
“Student safety is of paramount importance to the University of Georgia,” UGA President Michael F. Adams said. “We trust that this teamwork involving UGA, the University of Florida and the city of Jacksonville will enhance our students’ experience at this game.”
“Our highest priority is safety for fans and we will diligently work to insure this. Security in and around the stadium and the downtown area will receive even more focus at this year’s game,” Jacksonville Mayor John Peyton said.
Under the safety measures currently planned, the city and the two universities will establish a “Student Safe Zone” near Jacksonville Landing, where students and others can find assistance, meet missing friends and access support services. Students also will be able to find first aid, maps and an escort service modeled after those already existing on the two campuses. Jacksonville police will have an increased presence on Saturday night.
The two schools and the city will continue to work on additional safety initiatives as the game approaches.
This year’s match-up is scheduled for Oct. 28 in Jacksonville’s Alltel Stadium. The game has been played in Jacksonville nearly every year since 1933.