The $63 million in planned stadium enhancements at the site of the Georgia-Florida football game in Jacksonville are not expected to impact the seating capacity in the annual rivalry, UGA athletic director Greg McGarity said Thursday.
Gator Bowl president and CEO Rick Catlett spoke to McGarity Tuesday, the day before the Jacksonville Jaguars and the city of Jacksonville unveiled details of improvements planned for EverBank Field.
That included the removal of 7,000 seats in the north end zone to make way for the construction of a fan area, according to the Florida Times-Union.
“That was made very, very clear in our conversation,” McGarity said. “The capacity would remain the same. There would be no reduction in seating capacity.”
Jaguars team president Mark Lamping said on the team’s website that the design for the renovation calls for “a platform to extend over existing seats that will allow temporary North End Zone seating similar to temporary seating currently installed for Florida-Georgia in the South End Zone.”
Lamping told the website that capacity for Florida-Georgia will remain the same while capacity for Jaguars game could drop by about 1,800.
The changes are expected to be in place for the 2014 season.
“We’ll have time to review what their plans are and hopefully provide some input,” said McGarity, who said Georgia had not been “in the loop” on exact details on specific plans to keep the seating capacity intact.
Georgia and Florida each get 41,000 tickets for the game, which is under contract through the end of the 2016 season.
EverBank Field will get gigantic video boards in both end zones that are touted as the largest in the world–55 feet by 301 feet.
“I think it certainly enhances the experience,” McGarity said. “What you’re seeing with new construction going on around the NFL now, there’s a sense that those stadiums that are not new stadiums are having to do things that will stay current or exceed what other new stadiums are doing throughout the NFL.”
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