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Tuesday, November 30, 2021

February 21, 1977: The Gainesville City Commission approves building plans for a new sports coliseum on UF’s campus, now known as the O’Connell Center, despite residents’ fears that the building will lead to serious parking problems.

The “proposed mass-seating facility” is planned to seat 12,000, as well as house an indoor pool, several basketball courts, dance studios and a weight-lifting gym.

Although the city estimates a need for 2,500 additional parking spaces, campus officials have plans to build a 1,000-space parking lot nearby and replace 350 spots that will be covered by the new building.

February 24, 1998: Adam Sandler’s film crew comes to campus searching for thousands of students and residents to star on the sidelines of his newest comedy, “The Waterboy.”

The scene calls for a huge crowd, about 10,000, and tickets are sold around town for a chance to be part of the movie.

Attendees have the chance to win cash prizes, a car, TVs and camcorders. “Waterboy”-themed materials such as T-shirts, hats, key chains and water bottles also are given away.

February 21, 2002: The Gainesville Public Safety Committee rules against a proposal  that would regulate drink specials and gimmicks such as “Beat the Clock” and “Ladies Night.”

The proposal, aimed at regulating binge drinking by students, is found by the committee to violate a Florida law that keeps local governments from interfering with state Division of Alcohol regulations of alcohol sales.

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