The Florida Gators and Miami Hurricanes are set to open the 2019 season on August 31, 2019.
Or are they?
Both the University of Florida and University of Miami were approached by ESPN and the College Football 150th organization about potentially changing the kickoff date from August 31 to August 24. This is the 150th season of college football and the idea was pitched to both universities as a “unique and rare” opportunity that would “showcase college football, both storied programs, and the state of Florida.” ESPN is seeking a marquee, prime-time matchup for the slot and pitting these two schools, which haven’t played since 2013, is appealing to the network.
Florida and Miami agreed to play this game back in April of 2016. With that long of notice many fans began making plans to attend the game, which will be held at Camping World Stadium in Orlando. When rumors about the potential change of the game started to circulate, those travel and hotel plans became a talking point with fans. SO much so that the University of Florida released this statement.
“In the event that the game moves to Aug. 24, University of Florida season ticket holders that placed requests for tickets and can no longer attend, please contact the Gators Ticket Office to cancel that request and receive a refund of any payments made towards this event. The UAA apologizes for any inconveniences that this potential change may cause.”
The move is not official yet and would need to be approved by the NCAA. In January both schools submitted a waiver to the NCAA seeking approval for the change under the above state reasons. On Wednesday the Associate Press reported that the game would be held at night in a prime-time slot regardless of the date.
A decision by the NCAA is anticipated shortly.