Special to Gatorsports.com
It’s going to be a sun’s-out, fun Saturday on April 14 for the 2018 Orange & Blue Game, presented by Sunniland. Gator Nation has been encouraged to “Pack The Swamp” as new head coach Dan Mullen ushers in a new era of Florida football at 3 p.m. on that day.
With free admission and the game being played on a Saturday afternoon for the first time since 2015, fans can expect to experience a real Gators game day.
The North lawn outside Ben Hill Griffin Stadium will feature many new and renovated ideas from previous years:
· Gator Walk
o Former players and their families will participate in Gator Walk with team. 1 p.m.
· Gator Walk Village
o Pep rally at the end of Gator Walk with Coach Mullen addressing the crowd
o Tailgate Guys tents in the North Endzone
· BUBBA Burger Fan Fest
· Gator Walk Garden
o Controlled environment with appropriate oversight that includes the sale of national brand and local beer options
· Big Green Egg Cookoff Contest
· Great Gator Yard Sale of Gator Gear
o Located at Gate 9
· Food Trucks Located on the North end of Ben Hill Griffin Stadium
· All My Sons UF Football Equipment Truck available for photo opportunities
Meanwhile inside The Swamp during the game, fans are encouraged to participate & help create a fall gameday atmosphere:
· The Pride of Sunshine
o Florida’s Marching Band will be in attendance and play throughout the game from the stands
· Davis Chevrolet Football Challenge Halftime Contest
o Fans at the BUBBA Burger Fan Fest can enter for their chance to win a 2018 Davis Chevy Silverado
· The Gators will enter the field for the game through the SEZ tunnel just as they would for a game in the fall
· The teams will have split sidelines with #TeamOrange on one sideline & #TeamBlue on the other
· The format of the game will be four quarters, with the first half running exactly like a regular game
o The second half will feature a running clock in order to finish the contest by 5 p.m.
· Fans wanting a little extra from their trip to the Swamp can walk the field following the game through Gator Upgrades
Complete details for all of these attractions are listed below.
Over the course of that weekend (April 13-15), Florida’s campus will feature seven different Gator sports competing, highlighted by the first Orange & Blue Game presented by Sunniland, under Coach Mullen at 3 p.m. on Saturday, April 14.
#WeChompWeekend / #OBGame
· Friday, April 13
o Tom Jones Memorial (UF Track & Field)
o Men’s Tennis vs. Alabama, 5 p.m.
o Softball vs. South Carolina, 6 p.m.
o Baseball vs. Missouri, 6:30 p.m.
· Saturday, April 14
o Women’s Tennis vs. Vanderbilt, 11 a.m.
o Lacrosse vs. Marquette, 12 p.m.
o Softball vs. South Carolina, 1 p.m.
o Orange & Blue Game Presented by Sunniland, 3 p.m.
o Baseball vs. Missouri, 5 p.m.
· Sunday, April 15
o Softball vs. South Carolina, 1 p.m.
o Baseball vs. Missouri, 1 p.m.
Fans attending any UF event on Saturday, April 14 are encouraged to use their clear bag as that policy will be in effect at BHG Stadium for the spring game.
Gates 1-4, 7, 12, 15 and 18 will open at 1:15 p.m. The Skybox lobby and Evans Champions Club lobby will open at 1:15 p.m. for fans with a ticket to the luxury areas.
· All parking on campus will be open and available starting at 8 a.m., which is consistent with the time that lots open on a fall game day.
· Public parking lots are very limited around the Stadium. All lots that are not reserved are available on a first-come, first-served basis. As always, parking on the grass and sidewalks is NOT permitted and any vehicles doing so are at risk of being towed.
· Flavet Field will be available for parking for the Orange & Blue Game presented by Sunniland and the baseball game taking place on Saturday, April 14.
· In an effort to tighten security around the stadium, starting 2.5 hours prior to kickoff, no vehicular traffic will be allowed on Lemerand Drive between University Avenue and Stadium Road. The closure will remain in effect until the end of the game.
· The reserved parking on campus is a benefit for Gator Boosters at the Scholarship Partner contribution level and above. Those boosters will receive an email to RSVP and request a parking pass by a specific deadline date.
· Lots 1, 2, 3, S & T.
UNIVERSITY AVENUE ROAD CLOSURE
Beginning three hours before kickoff, West University Avenue will be CLOSED between Gale Lemerand Drive and NW 17th Street. West University Avenue will remain closed until up to two hours after the conclusion of the game. Fans with parking passes to enter the O’Connell Center parking lot will be able to access those areas from the west on University Avenue.
Scheduled to take place at 1 p.m. on the north end of the stadium. In addition to players and coaches, former Gators and their families will take part in Gator Walk.
These individuals will enter the walk prior to the current team and lead them into Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.
Fans will see a small stage at the end of Gator Walk, which will be used by Coach Mullen and UF’s Band & Spirit Squads to host a small pep rally for fans prior to the team entering the stadium.
BUBBA Burger FAN FEST
Fans are encouraged to stop by The BUBBA Burger Fan Fest on the North Lawn of Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, from 12-3 p.m. for giveaways and interactive games from our partners Cabana Beach, Chuy’s, Comfort Temp, Davis Chevrolet, Domino’s, Florida Credit Union, Florida Farm Bureau, Great Clips, Nissan, Pepsi, Regions, Sunniland, TowerHill, UF MBA, UF Health and West 20.
This year’s Fan Fest will also feature a Big Green Egg Cookoff. There will be eight contestants cooking their favorite Big Green Egg recipe on a Big Green Egg. The winner will be announced at 1:30 p.m.
Regarding the Davis Chevrolet Football Challenge Halftime Contest, fans will have an opportunity to compete at halftime to win a 2018 Davis Chevy Silverado.
One lucky fan will be selected to participate, but they must enter during at Fan Fest under the Davis Chevrolet tent.
GATOR WALK GARDEN
This will be a controlled environment located on the North Lawn to the East & North side of Gator Walk that includes the sale of national and local beer options.
All fans who enter will have their identification checked, as no one under 21 years of age will be allowed to enter. Alcohol sales will shut down at 2:45 p.m.
GREAT GATOR YARD SALE
With Gator Nation aware of the upcoming change from Nike to Jordan Brand for Florida’s Football, Men’s Basketball and Women’s Basketball teams, the Gator Sportshop will be having a yard sale to unload its Nike inventory to fans who arrive early.
Items include t-shirts, shorts, jackets, jerseys and even helmets that could range from 20% – 75% off retail price.
Don’t miss out and check out the Gator Sportshop on the North Lawn pregame, near Gate 9.
Meanwhile, Florida’s All My Sons equipment truck will be parked on the North Lawn and available for a photo opportunity for all fans.
The Gator Walk Village, a premium tailgate set up, along with Gator Walk and food trucks will add to the pregame atmosphere on University Avenue on the North end of Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.
Food Trucks that will be parked out there will be announced closer to the game.
Fans will have the opportunity to purchase a unique opportunity surrounding the Orange & Blue Debut through Gator Upgrades – Postgame Field Access.
Fans will have the chance to walk the on part of Florida Field and take photos following the conclusion of the game after the team has cleared the field.
As the University of Florida and Tailgate Guys finish up its fifth year as partners, there is a new offer for fans interested in tailgating at the 2018 Orange & Blue Game. Similar to the 2017 season, Gator fans can tailgate right outside of the North Endzone at the Gator Walk Village.
The mission is to provide a superior service to the game-day fan as they would for any home game in the fall.
Fans can reserve their tailgate by calling (352) 375-2222 or email UF@TailgateGuys.com. On Saturday, April 14, the tailgate lot will be open at 9:00 a.m. and close at kickoff
CLEAR BAG POLICY
In the interest of fan safety, the University of Florida Athletic Association will continue to implement a clear bag policy for the 2018 Orange & Blue Game.
o Clear plastic, vinyl or PVC bags that do not exceed 12″x6″x12″
o A logo no larger than 4.5″x 3.4″ can be displayed on one side of a permissible clear bag.
o One-gallon clear, re-sealable plastic storage bag
o Small clutch bags no larger than 4.5″x6.5″, approximately the size of a hand, with or without a handle or strap
o Medically necessary items (after proper inspection)
EMPTY WATER BOTTLE
Fans are permitted to bring one (1) commercially branded (i.e. Aquafina) EMPTY plastic water bottle, no larger than 20 oz. There are several water bottle filling stations inside Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Non-disposable water bottles, sport bottles, Nalgene-type bottles, cans, heavy plastic, glass bottles, and thermoses are NOT permitted in the Stadium. There are 12 water bottle refill stations throughout Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.
For fans unable to make the game on April 14, tune into SEC Network at 3 p.m. to see all the action.
2018 SEASON TICKETS
Tickets are $380 per seat plus the Gator Booster contribution which varies based on seat location.
Fans can purchase tickets in one of three ways:
· Visit floridagators.com/tickets and purchase online
· Purchase via phone by calling the Gators Ticket Office at (352) 375-4683 or (800) 344-2867 Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
· Visit a ticket office representative at the Gators Ticket Office in Ben Hill Griffin Stadium Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Follow the Gator Ticket Office on twitter at @GatorsTix for all the latest information on Gator tickets.