The Florida Gators and Miami Hurricanes are “close to agreeing to a deal” to open the 2019 season at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
However, Hurricanes athletics director Blake James told the Miami Herald: “I wouldn’t say we’re close because I don’t even have a contract.
“Is there interest in playing Florida? There is. Is it something that I think is right for us from a fans’ standpoint, from a financial standpoint and right for our program? Those are all things I’m interested in evaluating. And do I think there’s a possibility we play them there? Yeah. But until we have a contract I wouldn’t say we’re close.”
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Blake added, “I have an interest in seeing if we can have our football program play Florida. I think it’s good for college football and good for our fans. We’re interested in that. And if it works out that we can play them in Orlando in ’19, I think that’s great.”
Florida and Miami played annually until 1987, when the rivalry was discontinued.
The two schools have met another six times since, including a 21-16 win by the Hurricanes in 2013.
Gators athletics director Jeremy Foley has insisted over the years Florida is only interested in renewing the series if the games are hosted at a neutral site, with James telling the Miami Herald in May 2014 that Foley was “receptive” to the idea.
“I would have to think about Orlando,” James said. “That’s not real neutral, but it’s an easy distance to our campus.”