With Hurricane Florence posing an imminent threat to the Carolinas, people leaving their homes can take solace in the Swamp.

The University of Florida Athletic Association announced on Thursday that it would give free tickets for the Gators’ matchup against Colorado State to families evacuating from North and South Carolina. The move was made following a similar decision by the University of Tennessee on Wednesday.

Legal residents of counties under mandatory evacuation will be able to claim up to four tickets to Saturday’s game. The tickets can be claimed any time from noon to 2:30 p.m at the season-ticket holder representative tent at Fan Fest. A valid, state-issued ID from North Carolina or South Carolina is required to receive the tickets.

Florence – currently a Category 2 hurricane – is projected to make landfall in North Carolina Friday afternoon. Six counties in South Carolina and 11 counties in North Carolina have been ordered to evacuate.

Victor Santos, an advertising student at UF, said he thinks the university’s decision could motivate those who aren’t planning on doing so to evacuate.

“It gives them an incentive if they didn’t have one already,” he said. “It’s certainly a distraction for what’s going to happen.”

The Gators are no strangers to dealing with the effects of hurricanes. Hurricane Matthew led to the postponement of Florida’s game against LSU in 2016, and last season’s home opener against Northern Colorado was canceled as a result of Hurricane Irma. Twelve Week 3 games scheduled to take place within the path of the storm have already been canceled or rescheduled.

Santos said he thinks the university’s gesture of good will toward people preparing for disaster represents the values of its students.

“The UF community is very generous and very open,” he said.

You can follow Tyler Nettuno on Twitter @TylerNettuno or contact him at [email protected].


Tyler Nettuno is a sports writer for the Alligator and covers the University of Florida men's basketball team. He has previously covered UF golf and lacrosse. He has worked at the paper since Fall 2017.