The game formerly known as "The World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party," which annually pits Florida against Georgia on a neutral field, will not turn into the world's most regrettable pool party when the two teams meet at EverBank Field—home of the NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars—in 2014 and beyond.
The Jaguars just bulldozed 9,500 seats to build a two-story "party deck" with pools in their stadium, but according to the Associated Press (via USA Today), Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity and Florida AD Jeremy Foley will not have them used.
Why? In the interest of fuller capacity. By using the pool and the accompanying cabanas, the programs would lose 7,000 seats that have already been sold to the fans.
"There's no wiggle room for lowering the attendance or seating capacity," McGarity said. "The most important thing for us is the number of seats."
The pool itself is a ridiculous concept. It has been mocked since its announcement for its not-so-subtle ploy at boosting ticket sales, which the Jaguars struggled with last year (finishing No. 28 in the NFL).
Stephen Colbert even dedicated a segment to the pool—and, mostly, to mocking the Jaguars—on Tuesday night's Colbert Report:
For what it's worth, the design would look something like this:
Foley and McGarity do not appear to have a philosophical problem with putting a pool inside a football stadium. Their problem is pragmatic. They would like as many fans as possible to see the game.
"Our No. 1 priority is to have the same number of tickets available to our fans and we don't have an interest in any scenario that reduces the number of tickets," Foley said.
And good for him.
Unlike the case at Jaguars games, Florida and Georgia do not need fans to avert their eyes—their puffy, red, chlorine-filled eyes—when their teams are on the field together. Even last year, when Florida was historically bad, the "Cocktail Party" was a three-point Georgia win.
The last four games have been decided by a total of 18 points.
Follow Brian Leigh on Twitter: @BLeighDAT