GAINESVILLE, FLA. - Saturday's Florida-Tennessee game will be played at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium as scheduled, the Southeastern Conference announced Tuesday.
The game will kick off at 3:30 p.m. on CBS.
"While we know how important it is for this campus and the Gainesville community to host a game, our thoughts and prayers continue to be with those that have been impacted by the storm, and we are thankful for the support Floridians have received during this time," said Athletic Director Scott Stricklin.
"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. 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 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," said SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey. "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."
"We appreciate the communication from both our friends in Gainesville and the conference office as this assessment was made," said John Currie, Tennessee Director of Athletics. "Our thoughts and prayers are with those affected by Hurricane Irma and other recent storms throughout the SEC footprint, and we're grateful for the opportunity to travel to Florida this weekend."
Fans should expect increased congestion and traffic before the game due to continued storm clean up and the fact that traditionally the first home game of the year has more delays. With that said, fans are encouraged to be in their seat 30 minutes earlier than a normal home game.
Reserved and RV parking lots will be operational for the game. The City of Gainesville will continue with neighborhood and perimeter parking in outlying areas up in preparation for the game.
RTS Shuttle services will be operational on Saturday.
UF will continue its campus cleanup efforts and expects current road closures on Museum Road by Lake Alice to be operational by the game. Fans are also asked to be patient with staff assisting in parking and operation of the game.
The UAA is working on recognition for the thousands of responders who have aided the community, the state of Florida and beyond during Hurricane Irma. Information on how fans can contribute to relief efforts will also be available later in the week.
Other home Gators sporting events, including matches for soccer and volleyball, will proceed as scheduled.
On Monday night, Stricklin reported on Twitter that no student-athletes or coaches were harmed during the storm.