– Saturdays in The Swamp are here. Two Bits, The Chomp, tailgating on the North Lawn, Tom Petty's "We Won't Back Down" are back at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium--and the Gators are back in the
Before the Saturday's game against Kentucky kicks off at 7:30 p.m. ET, generations of families and friends will enjoy food and beverage options on the North Lawn, fireworks and music, and create memories that will last a lifetime.
"I want to have fun. I want Florida football to be fun inside the stadium and outside the stadium. We want to put on a show," head coach
said earlier this year.
Here is a look at some of the initiatives that will be in place for the 2018 season to ensure Gators fans and visitors enjoy a unique, fun-filled game day experience, while shuttles and taxi pickup and drop-off points will help Gators get home after the game.
FLORIDA vs. KENTUCKY PROMOTIONS
**NEW FOR 2018**
Expanded Gator Walk Village
- Florida will recognize and celebrate the 25-year anniversary of the 1993 Southeastern Conference Championship-winning football team.
- Florida will also honor its 2018 Lacrosse BIG EAST Championship team.
- Pre-game and in-game fireworks.
- The Pride of the Sunshine Marching Band and Florida's spirit squads will be performing pregame for fans.
The Gator Walk Village, a premium tailgate setup, along with Gator Walk and food trucks on the North Lawn in between University Avenue and Ben Hill Griffin Stadium will once again expand, adding to the lively pre-game atmosphere and entertainment surrounding the stadium. The North Lawn will also feature the Gator Garden, where those over the age of 21 will be able to enjoy beverages prior to the game. The Gator Garden will open three hours prior to kickoff and close 45 minutes before kickoff. A water station featuring 2,500 12-ounce water bottles, priced at one dollar each, will be near the Gator Garden. Texas Roadhouse will also be serving food near the Gator Garden.
Partnering with Tailgate Guys for a sixth season, 18 shaded tents (four more than last season) will be set up by Gator Walk on University Avenue, providing a unique, exciting, all-encompassing tailgating experience.
Fans will once again be able to enjoy a number of food truck options, including Cilantro Tacos, Mayflower Cellars, Soup To Nuts, Papa's Pineapples, Monsta Lobsta, Kona Ice, and more. Participating vendors will vary each week and open roughly two-and-a-half hours before kickoff.
- Food Trucks for Sept. 8 (Kentucky)
- Cilantro Tacos
- B'z Gelati
- Monsta Lobsta
- Kona Ice
- Mayflower Cellars
The UAA is excited to announce that there are two new food options and a value stand inside Ben Hill Griffin Stadium this season. Felipe's Mexican Tacos will be at Section 20, serving tacos, nachos, and chips & queso/salsa. In addition, Dippin' Dots stands will be placed at various stands in the concourse.
Also, in the Touchdown Chairbacks on the north side of the stadium—outside Section 325—fans can enjoy the UAA's new value stand.
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Prices at the value stand are as follows:
- Popcorn -- $2.00
- Hot Dog -- $3.00
- Chips -- $2.00
- Sweatshirt Unisex Princess Long Fleece Letter Print Sleeve 12 oz. Soda -- $3.00
- Nachos -- $3.00
Gators football fans can enter the Swampstakes for the opportunity to purchase up to two $10 tickets to Gators football home games during the 2018 season. No payment is required to enter the Swampstakes. To enter, simply follow the above link to and complete the registration form during one of the Swampstakes registration periods.
Winners will be selected and notified Tuesdays, and tickets will be delivered via e-mail on Fridays of each home game week.
**BACK FOR 2018**
My First Chomp in The Swamp
The University Athletic Association selected seven Florida football fans—none of whom have ever visited Ben Hill Griffin Stadium—to attend a game at the UAA's expense. Each of the contestants and a guest will receive an all-expense-paid trip to Gainesville (one hotel room, two round-trip flights, and two tickets to the game) to see one of the seven home games this fall.
Each of the seven winners and their guest will be recognized on the field during each game this fall.
University Avenue Road Closure
Public safety officials with the City of Gainesville and University of Florida are expected to ensure the safety of all Gainesville-area residents and visitors, especially on UF Football Game Days. For each home football game officials will make changes to the traffic flow of West University Avenue to ensure the highest level of safety to everyone in the area. The complete release with maps is available via the
full release from GPD
Beginning three hours before kickoff, West University Avenue will be
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.
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 football season. In addition, the
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implemented this security policy for all stadiums in the league last season.
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- Clear plastic, vinyl or PVC bags that do not exceed 12"x6"x12"
- A logo no larger than 4.5"x 3.4" can be displayed on one side of a permissible clear bag.
- One-gallon clear, re-sealable 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)
Limited number of clear bags will be available at the BUBBA Burger Fan Fest.
Reminders for the 2018 season:
Personal seatbacks will not be permitted inside the stadium. Seat cushions that are no larger than 16", do not have pockets, and do not have a back are permitted.
Fans will still be able to utilize Gator Seatbacks while inside Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Florida Football season ticket holders can purchase a seatback for the entire season, while non-season ticket holders can rent a seatback the day of the game.
For information about Gator Seatbacks, please visit UFGatorSeats.com or call 1-866-910-9287. For day of game rentals, Gator Seatbacks are available at kiosks located at Gates 3, 7, 16, and 18.
In various locations throughout the stadium, fans will be able to plug in and recharge their mobile devices courtesy of the Gators charging stations.
Nursing Suite Information
Nursing mothers will have an exclusive space inside Ben Hill Griffin Stadium to tend to their children in privacy. The Nursing Suite is located behind between Gates 15 and 16, and is a female-only space for nursing mothers or women bottle-feeding children. Men, affiliated with a nursing woman, or need to bottle-feed a child, are permitted in the lobby of the suite, where there will be two chairs available for them.
The suite will be staffed with an attendant from the UF Pharmacy School or a Gator Guest Services Game Day Ambassador at all times.
Parents can access the Nursing Suite 90 minutes prior to kickoff, in line with regular stadium entry, and will close 20 minutes after the conclusion of a game. Guests still actively utilizing the space are welcomed to stay until finished.
Attendees can store express/pumped milk in a refrigerator conveniently located inside the suite. All stored milk must be labeled with the individual's first and last name, with a phone number than can be reached on game day.
Game day storage for a 'pump bag' will also be available for patrons. These bags will be held behind the reception desk, but will not be in locked spaces.
Nursing mothers are still welcome to nurse their child in any public space inside Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, but can visit the Nursing Suite or any First Aid Room for a more private location.
Welcome Back Gators
The 2018 season will see many champion Gators back in The Swamp to be honored in front of Gator Nation.
Scheduled for 5:15 p.m. Saturday, the Gators will be dropped off at the corner of University and Gale Lemerand Drive and make their way into the North end of the stadium. Come join the band, cheerleaders, mascots and dazzlers to welcome the Gators as they prepare to take on Kentucky!
Taxi Drop Off and Pickup Point
- 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 sidewalks is NOT permitted and any vehicles doing so are at risk of being towed. Parking on the grass is permitted in select areas. Prohibited grass areas will be marked off by colored tape.
- 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 certain levels of booster club members. For details, please contact the Gator Boosters office at (800) 344-2867 ext. 5000
- For more information on disabled parking, RV parking, visitor parking follow the bold link above or this link.
- Follow the same link for suggested directions to individual lots.
Fans arriving via taxi can utilize a recommended drop-off and pickup point at the corner of Gale Lemerand Drive and West University Avenue (between SW 21st Terrace and Gale Lemerand Drive).
Gators Students Rewards Program
Earlier this week, the Gators announced the return of the
Gators Students Rewards Program
for the 2018-19 season. All current University of Florida students are eligible to participate in Gators Students Rewards Program. Students can download (or update, if already installed) the Gators Students Rewards app on their iPhone or Android, free of charge, through the Apple Store or the Google Play store.
The rewards program features students earning loyalty points by attending designated sporting events on campus. When students attend the event, all they need to do to earn points is open the app and hit "check-in." The more points accrued by the student, the more prizes they receive.
Entering its sixth year in Gainesville, Tailgate Guys continues to offer premium tailgating services for the Florida Gators through a multiyear extension of their partnership.
Fans have the option of choosing between two locations for the service – the Gator Walk Village or the Reitz Union lawn. For more information about reserving a tailgate for University of Florida home games, visit
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All home night games will have fireworks as the team runs out and after the Gators score.
With high temperatures expected during the early part of the season, heat initiatives will be in place for the first four home games, including misting stations located throughout Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, free cups of ice and cooling busses outside Gates 2 and 13. Stop by the Comfort Temp Chill Zone at Alligator Alley - West concourse between Gates 1 and 4 – to cool down. There will also be 5,000 cooling towels distributed at BUBBA Burger Gator Fan Fest prior to the game. Florida Lottery will have 15,000 hand fans to pass out each of the first three home games at select entry gates.
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There will be free sunscreen for fans attending football games at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium available at the Guest Service Kiosks at Gates 1, 7 and 16.
Empty Water Bottle
Fans are permitted to bring one (1) commercially branded (i.e. Aquafina)
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.
Season ticket holders can purchase a refillable 22 oz. cup for $8 per game. The cups are available at all concession stands.
BUBBA Burger Gator Fan Fest
Begins at 4:30 p.m. outside Gate 2 of Exactech Arena at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center. Various corporate partners such as Pepsi, Nissan, and Comfort Temp, among others, will provide games, samples, and giveaways for fans such as sunglasses, rally towels, posters, schedule cards, clear bags, and hand fans for the Kentucky game Sept. 8.
The Wendy's College Tailgate Tour will be visiting Florida Saturday, and Danny Wuerffel will sign autographs from 6-7 p.m. as part of the event. The Wendy's College Tailgate Tour opens at 4:30 p.m.
Other notable promotions include…
- The Wendy's Collegiate Tailgate Tour: free burgers and Frosties
- Wells Fargo: sweepstakes for tickets to future football games
- Jewelry TV's Jewelry Love Tour: virtual reality simulation, opportunity to build your own bracelet
- UF Health: ShandsCair ambulance display
In addition, various UF teams will be signing autographs throughout the season. The Gators men's and women's basketball teams will be signing for the Kentucky game Sept. 8.
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It is a tribute, a cause that has been done in several stadiums around the country. "It's great that it's finally getting done here," Randall Martin said. Martin, 32, is a veteran of the U.S. Marines. He did three tours of Iraq. He is now a UF student, but also has been a point player in the University of Florida's Collegiate Veterans Society's endeavor of putting a "Chair of Honor" in Ben Hill Griffin Stadium to honor POW and MIA soldiers. His work and that of his colleagues at CVS officially came to fruition in UF's 2016 opener against UMass when a seat in the stadium concourse near Gate 16.
Experience Seat Upgrade
The UAA has partnered with a company called Experience. The UAA will be using Experience's Seat Upgrade Technology to enhance the fan experience for its football games this season. With the
Experience Seat Upgrade App
, Gators fans will be able to complete a simple purchase for a better seat than what they are currently sitting in at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. The process is simple and the transaction takes place prior to gameday exclusively through the app.
The Experience app also allows fans to purchase birthday and anniversary recognitions that can be displayed on the video board during the game. Sales close 48 hours prior to kickoff of each game. Season ticket holders receive a 25-percent discount when purchasing a video board recognition.
Gators Text for Tix
The Gator Ticket Office and ReplyBuy have entered into a partnership that will enable Gator fans to instantly purchase tickets with a quick text message. The program, referred to as
Gators Text for Tix
, will allow fans that sign up to receive exclusive access to limited, last-minute tickets.
Lost & Found
Lose something at a Gators sporting event? You can now go to
and submit a form with your contact information and description of the lost item.
UAA staff members will monitor submissions and contact you if we've received your item. Lost items can be picked up at the Ticket Office window at Gate 1 of Ben Hill Griffin Stadium during regular business hours, Monday-Friday, 8:30a.m.-5:00p.m. ET.
Happy Birthday and First Gator Game Pins
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Available for all fans at Gator Guest Services booths located around the stadium.
Ben Hill Griffin Stadium closes Thursday at 10 p.m. ET during each game week to prepare for Saturday's game. The Swamp will remain closed until 90 minutes prior to kickoff each week.