Going to the Florida Gators Orange and Blue Game? Here's a fan guide
Florida’s spring football game, the program’s first in three years, will have a different format and some additional incentives for fans under first-year UF head coach Billy Napier.
It also has a prime-time start of 7:30 p.m. April 14.
The Gators are looking to make the Orange and Blue game an even more desirable experience for the public.
With that in mind, here are 7 things fans need to know for the April 14 game at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium:
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What will the Orange and Blue game be like?
During the 2017 spring game under former coach Jim McElwain, the Gators played four 12-minute quarters, meaning UF played 80 percent of a typical contest. Under Napier, the program is returning to four 15-minute quarters, with the program splitting into two separate practice units in the build-up to Thursday’s contest.
The intrasquad scrimmage will even see the Gators utilize both the home and visiting locker rooms.
With the exception of the final four minutes of each quarter, the game will be played with a running clock, although officials will stop the game clock with each penalty, change of possession or score.
Thursday’s set-up should be more reminiscent of a regular season contest at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium than it has been in recent memory.
Is there a charge for Gators spring football game admission?
The additional 12 minutes of game-time hasn’t altered the price of admission. Admission is free and gates open at 6 p.m., 90 minutes prior to the 7:30 kickoff. Gates 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 8, 12, 15 and 18 will open for fan entry. Free general admission seating will be located on the west and east stands, as well as the lower north and south end zones.
Considering Florida’s in-state rival, Florida State, continues to charge $10 for general admission, the Gators' game is a deal.
All UF students should enter the stadium via gates 12 and 15.
Prime time:Florida's annual Orange & Blue spring game moved to a Thursday night
Parking for Gators spring football game
All non-reserved parking on campus, including Flavet Field, Lots 114 and 109 and the Stephen C. O'Connell Center garage, will be available starting at 3:30 p.m. Free shuttle service from parking garage 109 starts at 5:30 p.m. Shuttles will run until about an hour after the game ends.
See the parking map here.
Please note: Beginning at 5:30 p.m., Lemerand Drive between University Avenue and Stadium Road, and Stadium Road between Gale Lemerand Drive and Buckman Drive will be closed to traffic. The closure will remain in effect until after the end of the game.
Will there be a Gator Walk for the Orange and Blue teams?
Those planning on getting to UF’s campus can witness the Orange and Blue teams arrive as part of Gator Walk, beginning at 5 p.m. on the north side of the stadium. The Gators typically participate in Gator Walk prior to each home game at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, giving fans — as well as the families of many UF players — a chance to cheer on Florida prior to the competition commencing.
What about other special events?
A pair of recently hired head coaches will be at the game. Kelly Rae Finley, the Florida women’s basketball head coach, and Todd Golden, the men’s basketball head coach, will serve as the game’s honorary captains during the contest.
And, as the teams take the field, Titus O’Neil, a former UF football player and the current Global Ambassador of the WWE, will help provide some pre-game hype.
Florida is pulling out all the stops when it comes to getting students in the stands. The first 1,000 UF students will receive a UF-themed bucket hat, courtesy of Cabana Beach Apartments, as well as a voucher for a free popcorn from the concession stand. UF students planning to attend can register online at floridagators.com in advance to be entered into a drawing for a 2022 Genuine Buddy 50 Scooter, courtesy of Solano Cycle of Gainesville — they must be in attendance to win.
It’s not just the student population that has an opportunity to take home more than just memories. All fans attending the spring game can enter to win prizes, such as a pair of 2022 Florida Football season tickets, a throwback UF football helmet, a Disney gift card, pregame sideline passes, and more. Prize winners will be announced throughout the game and, again, fans must pre-register at floridagators.com and be present to win.
What isn't allowed in Ben Hill Griffin stadium for football games
- Outside food or drink (including alcoholic beverages)
- Artificial Noise Makers
- Cameras with extendable lenses larger than six inches
- Personal seatbacks
- Ice chests or bags
- Bags not compliant with the clear bag policy
- Tobacco products (including e-cigarettes, vapor pens, and chewing tobacco)
- Video cameras/cases
What can I bring to a Gators football game?
Fans are permitted one commercially branded (Aquafina) empty plastic water bottles, no larger than 20 oz., inside the stadium.
Binoculars, phones, cameras, and tablets can be carried into the stadium as long as those items are not in their own bags/cases that don't comply with clear bag policy.
Under the UAA clear bag policy, approved bags are:
- Clear plastic, vinyl or PVC bags that do not exceed 12"x6"x12"
- One-gallon clear, resealable plastic storage bag
- Small clutch bags no larger than 4.5"x6.5", approximately the size of a hand, with or without a handle or strap
- Medically necessary items (after proper inspection)
- Prohibited bags include, but are not limited to purses, backpacks, cinch/drawstring bags, briefcases, coolers, fanny packs, luggage of any kind, computer bags, camera bags, binocular cases and any bag larger than the permissible size.
See more on the clear bag policy here.