Notebook: UAA offers free tickets to hurricane evacuees

Albert greets UF fans during Gator Walk before the game Sept. 8 at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. [Cyndi Chambers/Gainesville Sun Correspondent]

Following suit with Tennessee’s announcement Wednesday, residents of North Carolina and South Carolina may receive four complimentary tickets to Saturday’s football game vs. Colorado State.

The University Athletic Association and the Gators Ticket Office has extended an invitation to families displaced by Hurricane Florence to attend Saturday’s game against Colorado State free of charge. Kickoff for the matchup between the Gators and Rams is set for 4 p.m. at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.

Residents of North Carolina and South Carolina counties under evacuation orders may claim four tickets from 12 to 2:30 p.m. Saturday at the Gators Season Ticket Holder Rep tent located in Fan Fest. A valid, state-issued ID for North Carolina or South Carolina is required to receive the tickets. Ticket distribution will close at 2:30 p.m.

The Gators’ first afternoon game of the 2018 football season is expected to have high temperatures and a myriad of pregame festivities on the North Lawn.

Game day initiatives for Saturday:

Fifth graders at Swamp

The University Athletic Association worked with Alachua County Public Schools for almost a year to provide all fifth graders with an opportunity to attend Saturday’s game against Colorado State for free.

“So many of our students have never had the chance to see a Gators football game in person,” Superintendent Karen Clarke said. “We’re so grateful to the University Athletic Association, Florida Credit Union and all the other community partners who are helping these kids get a taste of the college experience. I think it will be a real motivator.”

Over 1,500 5th graders from more than 23 schools will be in attendance Saturday. In addition, the UAA provided complimentary tickets to more than 300 chaperones, volunteers and bus drivers. All fifth graders will receive free pizza (courtesy of Dominos), free water (courtesy of Pepsi), and a free t-shirt at the game.

“We have enjoyed working with Superintendent Clarke and all of the Alachua County Public Schools’ staff on the project,” UAA Director of Marketing James Slagle said. “Creating exciting and memorable experiences for Gator Nation is a primary goal of ours and we’re looking forward to hosting all of these kids, teachers and volunteers on Saturday.”

Fans in attendance on Saturday, keep your eyes on the video board at halftime as the UAA will recognize these 5th graders in attendance.


  1. This is a wonderful act of generosity and kindness. Hopefully, it gives the evacuees a break from what they’ve been going through. However, Florida is at the point where we can’t sell out games anymore? Our program is now at the level of giving tickets away so we can fill seats?? Now I feel like I’m back in the 60’s when we watched people playing tennis outside the north end zone while the stands were on 3/4 full for a Auburn vs Florida game. How far the program has fallen.

  2. What a wonderfull thing for the kids and South and North Carolina folks. The kids will never forget it. The only problem I can see is the South Carolina fans will be rooting against us. The kids though will always remember their experience at the Swamp. It’s way better than seeing empty seats. Cudos to the UAA. How about some free seats for old Gator geezers.

  3. Lol love all the comments! But you have to wonder why people would even want to show up to a game where we could lose?
    I have never been to the swamp when we lost a game, but I’m sure it isn’t fun.. Hopefully though thats not the case come Saturday! Here’s to hoping!

    • It’s called being a real fan, in all kinds of weather. Only a fair weather fan only shows up to games he thinks we are sure to win. I have been to plenty of losses at the swamp, but some of the greatest games I have been to are ones where we thought we were sure to lose, but pulled out a victory.

  4. Hey, just a thought …. let’s all give our best wishes to our Gator pals up in the Carolinas for a speedy recovery and to stay out of harm’s way. Probably why a lot of them are not posting right now, so let’s not forget them.