The No.24 Florida Gators will host the No. 23 Tennessee Volunteers at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium this Saturday.
“The University of Florida has been diligent in assessing the impact of Hurricane Irma on the Gainesville community and has made a thoughtful decision in moving forward with the game,” SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey said in a release. “We appreciate the communication, coordination and cooperation among the many agencies and groups necessary to produce a game in a safe environment. Our prayers remain with the people of Florida as well as Texas as they recover from Hurricanes Irma and Harvey.”
The game location was in question until Tuesday afternoon due to the effects of Hurricane Irma. More than 12 million people have lost power do to the Hurricane and up to six people lost their lives due to the storm, according to the Associated Press.
The determination to play came after an assessment on Monday of Gainesville and the surrounding areas. The track of Irma, fortunately, spared Gainesville of the worst of Irma’s wrath.
“After meeting with the City of Gainesville, campus officials and numerous staffing entities to discuss hosting the game, we are pleased that the Florida-Tennessee football game will take place in Gainesville Saturday as scheduled,” said Florida Athletic Director Scott Stricklin. “There has been a tremendous amount of cooperation between local authorities, the Southeastern Conference and the Tennessee athletic program throughout this process and we are grateful for these strong partnerships.”
The Volunteers and Gators will meet as ranked opponents with the Volunteers looking for their first back-to-back wins over the Gators since 2003-04.
The game will be broadcast at 3:30 p.m. ET on CBS as the network’s Game of the Week.