Miami Hurricanes and Florida Gators fans: Only three-plus more years before your football rivalry continues.
The Gators and Canes officially announced Tuesday that their teams will face off to open the 2019 season in the Camping World Kickoff at Camping World Stadium (formerly called the Citrus Bowl) in Orlando.
The Gators-Hurricanes deal was a long time in the making and already made public, and fans were just waiting until it became official.
“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,’’ Miami wrote in a distributed release.
“We are excited to have this opportunity to play the University of Florida in Orlando,’’ UM athletic director Blake James said. “There have been so many memorable games between our two institutions and I am confident that all of our alumni and fans will enjoy seeing the two teams square off in the Citrus Bowl.’’
The 2019 game will be the seventh neutral-site game in the rivalry’s history, though most UM fans would scoff at the word “neutral’’ pertaining to Orlando. Miami leads the series, which dates to 1938, 29-26, winning the last game played between the teams in 2013 at Sun Life Stadium.
UM alumnus Marcus Lemonis, chairman and CEO of Camping World and host of CNBC’s The Profit, posted a video of himself on Facebook discussing the new naming rights. Lemonis said in the video that his favorite of the three Camping World openers is “the University of Miami Hurricanes against the Florida Gators. To me it’s a throw-down at the 50-yard line between two great schools.’’
Tickets will go on sale in 2019, with Florida Citrus Sports members getting priority access as they do for the annual bowl games and for the 2016 (Florida State-Ole Miss) and 2018 (Alabama-Louisville) Camping World Kickoff games.
For member information, call 407-423-2476 or go to floridacitrussports.com.