The Miami Hurricanes will play the Florida Gators in Camping World Stadium during college football’s opening weekend in 2019. The neutral-site season opener is part of a series of Camping World Kickoff games in Orlando.
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.
“We are excited to have this opportunity to play the University of Florida in Orlando,” said Miami Director of Athletics Blake James. “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. I would like to thank Steve Hogan and Florida Citrus Sports, ESPN events and our game sponsor, Camping World for making this game a reality.”
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.