JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- It's one of our area's biggest events: Mississippi State will face off against Northwestern in the Taxslayer.com Gator Bowl.
It is a major boost for the local economy, but this year's ticket sales are slumping.
For years, Jacksonville has banked on EverBank Field filling up full of fans coming into town to cheer on their teams in the Gator Bowl.
"You work all year long for one week and we're ready," said Gator Bowl President, Rick Catlett.
Catlett is staying optimistic this year's event will be as big as years past.
Mayor Alvin Brown is hoping for a sell-out, too. After all, this single game is a huge boost to the local economy. But he says, it means so much more than that.
"It's historic in our great city, people come in from all over the world to attend the Gator Bowl and I want to make sure we do everything we can to not only sell tickets but pack the stadium," said Mayor Brown.
But if the website stubhub.com is any indication, things aren't looking good. Over 5,000 tickets are available on this site alone, with prices as low as $2.36 a ticket. Catlett says that's not just happening here.
"Ticket sales across the board are slower. More so than they have been in a long time. I don't know if maybe economy is playing in. It costs $1000 round trip from Chicago to come to Jacksonville," said Catlett of the trek Northwestern fans would have to make.
Catlett says regardless, all downtown hotels are full. Those on the Southside haven't been as lucky. But there's still time.
"You're going to have your great years and sometimes you're going to have not so great years. But we'll have probably 60,000 in the building and that's a pretty good year," he said.
The Gator Bowl Association expects the majority of fans to come from Mississippi State.