I am a member of the Taxslayer Gator Bowl Committee...

sas51

Newcomer
Jul 18, 2001
12
49
13
I am on the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl Committee, Big Ten fan, and a Spartan, born and raised in EL. I now live in Fernandina Beach, right next to where the IU team will be staying.

I also help host the Big Ten team each year so I usually hop on the teams' Rivals site and help info about the game and area. I don't have access to the Premium site so if someone wants to post this there, please feel free.

IU will be the "visitors" so tickets in Sections 30-44 (i.e., 130-144 or 230-244) will be the IU side. The Endzone tickets in sections 146-150 are also a really fun place to watch the game as there is a "Bud Zone" right behind those sections that is more of a "party" atmosphere and there is no charge to hang out there.

The team will be staying at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation. The Plantation is a world-class resort with tons of amenities. They went through a multi-million dollar renovation a few years ago and it is a really cool location. (Tennessee will be staying at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra.) BTW, get ready to get sick of hearing "Rocky-Top"...almost as bad as hearing "Hail to the Victors".

Distance from the Island to the stadium is around 45-55 minutes depending on traffic. Jacksonville is a "wierd" city in that it is very spread out. Trivia note: Jacksonville is the largest city area-wise in the lower 48 states. There is not a lot to do right in the downtown area, but there are pockets all over that are extremely cool.

The bowl website has a list of our hotel and restaurant partners, so you will want to check that out. Also, there is a REALLY good 4 tickets for $75 deal going on to celebrate our 75th game.

The team will practices will be closed to the public, but most of the functions the team will attend are open to the public (they will be at Top Golf one night).

I'll pop back on this board over the next few days to answer any questions. If someone wants to post this to one of your board moderators or make it a "sticky thread", that would be fine.
-sas51
 

waynoforiu

Redshirt
Gold Member
Sep 3, 2001
192
168
43
I am on the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl Committee, Big Ten fan, and a Spartan, born and raised in EL. I now live in Fernandina Beach, right next to where the IU team will be staying.

I also help host the Big Ten team each year so I usually hop on the teams' Rivals site and help info about the game and area. I don't have access to the Premium site so if someone wants to post this there, please feel free.

IU will be the "visitors" so tickets in Sections 30-44 (i.e., 130-144 or 230-244) will be the IU side. The Endzone tickets in sections 146-150 are also a really fun place to watch the game as there is a "Bud Zone" right behind those sections that is more of a "party" atmosphere and there is no charge to hang out there.

The team will be staying at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation. The Plantation is a world-class resort with tons of amenities. They went through a multi-million dollar renovation a few years ago and it is a really cool location. (Tennessee will be staying at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra.) BTW, get ready to get sick of hearing "Rocky-Top"...almost as bad as hearing "Hail to the Victors".

Distance from the Island to the stadium is around 45-55 minutes depending on traffic. Jacksonville is a "wierd" city in that it is very spread out. Trivia note: Jacksonville is the largest city area-wise in the lower 48 states. There is not a lot to do right in the downtown area, but there are pockets all over that are extremely cool.

The bowl website has a list of our hotel and restaurant partners, so you will want to check that out. Also, there is a REALLY good 4 tickets for $75 deal going on to celebrate our 75th game.

The team will practices will be closed to the public, but most of the functions the team will attend are open to the public (they will be at Top Golf one night).

I'll pop back on this board over the next few days to answer any questions. If someone wants to post this to one of your board moderators or make it a "sticky thread", that would be fine.
-sas51
Cool. Wife and I will be at the residence inn there. Short drive from winter home in Beaufort SC. Have season tickets and go to games in BTown in fall. Go IU.
 
  • Like
Reactions: vesuvius13 and 76-1

sas51

Newcomer
Jul 18, 2001
12
49
13
So what happened?

Not sure what you mean by "what happened?"

I assume you are wondering about the Kentucky v UT choice. We had a pretty good idea we would have IU for the last week or so. Lots of stuff goes on behind the scenes, especially with the SEC. I haven't heard the details about getting UT, but I know they will bring a lot of fans and are pretty excited about their program again.
 

iu2win

Freshman
Mar 7, 2005
654
785
93
To follow up on LeConte's question above. If they do allow tailgating in the parking lots, which lot/locations are generally filled by the fans of the team representing the Big Ten? I want to tailgate next to the HOOSIER fans !!!
 
  • Like
Reactions: vesuvius13

sas51

Newcomer
Jul 18, 2001
12
49
13
Yes, they allow tailgating. There is also a public tailgate in the Flex-field - indoor practice facility attached to the stadium. Not sure of the cost of food and drinks, but they will have activities for kids/families I am told.

There is no specific area designated to parking for the schools.
I just took a quick look at the Bowl's website and there are parking passes available for Lots Z, E, K, H and P - all the same price. Of those, Lot E is on the same side of the stadium as the Indiana side (East) so it is a more direct route into your seats.
I've never parked in H, but it is on the river which is pretty cool on a nice day.
 

Lillyr66

Redshirt
Feb 17, 2016
109
164
43
Question: we want to be close to the pre-game festivities, official tailgates, pep rally etc. When we went to the bowl game in Santa Clara we stayed by the stadium but all of the activities were in San Fran which was a long drive so we want to avoid that happening again. Where are the team events happening and would you recommend staying near the downtown area or out where the team is staying on Amelia? thanks! Go Hoosiers!
 
  • Like
Reactions: vesuvius13

sas51

Newcomer
Jul 18, 2001
12
49
13
Question: we want to be close to the pre-game festivities, official tailgates, pep rally etc. When we went to the bowl game in Santa Clara we stayed by the stadium but all of the activities were in San Fran which was a long drive so we want to avoid that happening again. Where are the team events happening and would you recommend staying near the downtown area or out where the team is staying on Amelia? thanks! Go Hoosiers!
Jacksonville is pretty spread out as well. The players will be hanging out all over the Plantation property (including the beach) but there are no real public fan events scheduled there. Amelia Island is an absolutely beautiful place to stay and a great family atmosphere and a great little downtown area with bars and restaurants. There are not any activities planned up there and the team practices are closed.

The most recent schedule I saw has the IU team at TopGolf on Monday the 30th, which is open to the public (not sure of the time but it is typically late afternoon/early evening). The team Pep Rallies are on Wednesday at Jax Beach Seawalk Pavilion from 5-7:30 with IU being first at 5pm followed by the Paris Island Marine Corps Band and then UT.

TopGolf is located at St.Johns' Town Center which is a world-class outdoor mall/shopping/dining area. It takes about 15-20 minutes to get to the stadium from there and is also about 15-20 minutes from Jax Beach. It is 45 minutes from Amelia Island (hope that helps).

The main pre-game events mostly take place on game day at the stadium. There are 2 facilities attached/next to the stadium. The indoor practice facility has a tailgate from 3-6:30. The IU band pep rally is at 4:15 (with UT to follow) in Daily’s Place Amphitheater. You need a game ticket to get into the events at Daily's Place because it is inside the fences around the stadium. There is a concert in Daily's Place (70s/80s Cover Band that tours nationally) from 5-6:30 . You basically walk into the stadium from there.
 

IUninethree

All-Big Ten
Gold Member
Dec 7, 2010
4,398
6,637
113
Indianapolis
Question: we want to be close to the pre-game festivities, official tailgates, pep rally etc. When we went to the bowl game in Santa Clara we stayed by the stadium but all of the activities were in San Fran which was a long drive so we want to avoid that happening again. Where are the team events happening and would you recommend staying near the downtown area or out where the team is staying on Amelia? thanks! Go Hoosiers!
It looks like the committee member answered most of your questions. I've been organizing a group of 13 and have spent a lot of time looking at a map of Jacksonville to figure things out. We opted to stay downtown because that seems to be where all the game day things will happen. IU is holding a pre-game event across the river from the stadium 2:30-5:30 that day. Tix to that are available through the IU ticket office. Our tentative plan is to hit that event then get over to the stadium around 6 PM. I imagine the Gator Bowl folks will have a big pre-game thing worth getting to seats early to see. Then it's an easy walk back to our hotel and no worries about parking at the stadium.

We do plan to drive over to the beach early on Jan 1 to take in the area, hit the pep rally, and probably have dinner.
 
  • Like
Reactions: vesuvius13

sas51

Newcomer
Jul 18, 2001
12
49
13
What’s the typical nighttime temperature in Jacksonville in January?
I would say typically in the low 50s. Ends up typically being sweatshirt/pullover weather for most of us northerners. It can dip into the 40s and it is a bit of a weird, damp cold. So much moisture in the air that it makes it feel colder than it is.
 

sas51

Newcomer
Jul 18, 2001
12
49
13
It looks like the committee member answered most of your questions. I've been organizing a group of 13 and have spent a lot of time looking at a map of Jacksonville to figure things out. We opted to stay downtown because that seems to be where all the game day things will happen. IU is holding a pre-game event across the river from the stadium 2:30-5:30 that day. Tix to that are available through the IU ticket office. Our tentative plan is to hit that event then get over to the stadium around 6 PM. I imagine the Gator Bowl folks will have a big pre-game thing worth getting to seats early to see. Then it's an easy walk back to our hotel and no worries about parking at the stadium.

We do plan to drive over to the beach early on Jan 1 to take in the area, hit the pep rally, and probably have dinner.
Most of the pregame stuff happens just outside the stadium (as I described above) with a few bells and whistles before kickoff on the field.
 

sas51

Newcomer
Jul 18, 2001
12
49
13
For the 4 tickets for $75 deal, can you get those in the IU Section?
Honestly, I don't know where those tickets will be. Last I heard that was still being discussed. That being said, I'm pretty certain there won't be a IU or UT "section" for the $75 deal.
 

Shuski

Senior
Gold Member
Aug 28, 2001
2,944
838
113
Great information. Too bad they are going to be at Top Golf on the 30th. I was going cheap/points and am staying at a new Holiday Inn Express next to Top Golf starting on the 31st.
 

mattndallas

All-Big Ten
Gold Member
Oct 11, 2005
3,996
2,593
113
Bloomington, IN
What's the scoop on the Top Golf shindig? Are the teams just reserving some bays for the players while there? Are fans welcome to actually get a bay as well, and maybe hit some with the kids?
 

sas51

Newcomer
Jul 18, 2001
12
49
13
From what I know about the Top Golf outing - the team will be playing in some reserved bays while the rest of the facility is open to the public. There isn't anything specifically structured for fan involvement.
 
Mar 3, 2009
8
4
3
Thanks for the info. One question on parking: if I purchase a parking pass on the bowl website lots, can you tailgate in those lots?

Thanks
How did you decide on your username? One of the things i love about living in Knoxville is looking to the East and having a great view of Mt Leconte. Ive stayed up at the lodge on the mountain several times. The highest accommodations east of the Mississippi.
 

LeConte

All-American
Mar 19, 2004
8,294
324
83
Louisville, KY
How did you decide on your username? One of the things i love about living in Knoxville is looking to the East and having a great view of Mt Leconte. Ive stayed up at the lodge on the mountain several times. The highest accommodations east of the Mississippi.
Spot on - from Mt. LeConte. My family hikes to the top every year and stays overnight in the rustic cabins on top. One of my favorite places - I can do without Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg getting there, but love the park and Mt. LeConte.
 

E.Z.Rider

Moderator
Moderator
Aug 29, 2001
2,840
1,170
113
Oregon
Thanks for your help sas51. Maybe we'll see you again next year (if we're not in the Rose Bowl). :)