(SPECIAL TO FIGHTIN' GATORS)
"We are pleased to have partnered with Florida Citrus Sports and ESPN events to kick off the 2019 season against Miami" UF Athletics Director Jeremy Foley said. "Orlando is a great Gator city and we look forward to playing in front of our fans from all over the state of Florida and beyond."
The 2019 matchup is the third announced Camping World Kickoff in a multi-year agreement between Camping World, Florida Citrus Sports (FCSports) and ESPN Events, a division of ESPN, to host major neutral-site regular-season games in Camping World Stadium. The stadium is already home to the Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl, Russell Athletic Bowl and Florida Blue Florida Classic games, as well as previously-announced Camping World Kickoff games in 2016 and 2018.
"I am thrilled that a Florida and Miami matchup is on the schedule," said Marcus Lemonis, Chairman and CEO of Camping World and Good Sam Enterprises and host of CNBC's The Profit. "This is the type of high quality matchup that will drive fans to Camping World Stadium. This matchup will be a throw down at the 50-yard line!"
"Florida Citrus Sports is proud to announce yet another big-time college football game for Orlando," said FCSports Chief Executive Officer Steve Hogan. "We're excited to pair two in-state teams for a match-up with tremendous appeal locally and nationally at the top of the 2019 season."
"It's exciting to announce such a classic, headlining rivalry as our matchup for the 2019 Camping World Kickoff," said Pete Derzis, senior vice president, ESPN Events. "We always want to provide the fans with the ultimate experience, and the Gators meeting the Hurricanes in the heart of Florida certainly delivers that."
History between the Florida schools is rich. Florida and Miami first met in 1938 and the Hurricanes lead the all-time series, 29-26. In the 55 meetings, more than half (26) have been decided by a touchdown or less. The 2019 game will be the seventh neutral-site meeting in the series with those matchups being split 3-3.
ESPN's first live regular-season college football night game telecast on September 1, 1984, featured Florida vs. Miami at "the Big Sombrero," Tampa Stadium. The thriller that saw Bernie Kosar lead the 'Canes over freshman QB Kerwin Bell's Gators, 32-20 followed that afternoon's first live regular-season game on ESPN pitting BYU at Pitt. The 2019 Camping World Kickoff game will take place almost 35 years to the day from that historic contest.
Ticket information including pricing and location will be announced at a later date from the Gator Ticket Office.