JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The week of the greatest college football rivalry is here!
The Florida Gators will face-off against the Georgia Bulldogs on Saturday.
But the city of Jacksonville has already begun planning to make sure the celebration this weekend will be a safe one.
Action News Jax Courtney Cole tells us about the measures the City is taking to make sure fans will be safe while celebrating.
"This is Christmas for us. We take the whole week off, we all do. And I don't even need Christmas after that!" exclaimed Richard Dean.
Dean is the mayor of RV City.
And he didn't get that name for nothing!
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This is his 15th year posting up in the same spot at RV City.
"The reason we come here is because of security. As you go out, you'll see the police officers, and every night they walk this place," Dean said.
And the city knows safety and security matters to many others like Dean.
"I think they're doing a great job. Just having their presence there. Having them right at the gate when people walk in," Dean told Action News Jax.
Just like at Jaguars games—only clear bags no larger than 12x6x12 will be allowed, metal detectors will be used and "sideline safety zones" will now be available to attendees.
"If anyone should need assistance of any kind, medical or otherwise, please use one of these sideline safety zones," said Chief Keith Powers of the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department.
There will be six of them total. Four will open on Friday, two will open on Saturday.
On game day, there will also be 50 fire and rescue workers inside TIAA Bank Field and 50 outside.
With all of these measures in place, the City just asks one thing: "No one wants to be stuck in a security check point. So we encourage fans and guests to be mindful. Have a plan, make good decisions and get yourself in position to get here early," said Bill McConnell of SMG. And... oh yeah root for your team! "Go Gators, Beat them Dawgs!"
While you're rooting for your team, to get the most out of your Florida-Georgia game experience --planning is key.
Game day parking lots will open at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday.
"We advise that you're in your parking spots, five hours ahead of time, that's 10:30 a.m.," said Andre Ayoub, the chief of special events for JSO.
Stadium gates will open at 1:30 p.m. on game day … and if you don't want to miss kick-off, JSO says you need to be in line by 2:30 pm.
JTA is doing their part to make sure it's easy for all attendees to get around.
- They will have free Bold City Bash shuttles running Friday.
- Game Day Express buses and shuttles are running at the Beaches, Northside, and Southside Saturday, with passes between $8 and $14..
And whether you're on golf-cart, on bus, or on foot — there's one thing JSO says it won't tolerate.
"We will not tolerate underage drinking. Ladies and gentlemen, this is your warning. We will have undercover and uniform officers enforcing this. Underage drinkers will be held accountable for their actions," Ayoub said.
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