What you should know before Gator Bowl Monday

The 74th annual TaxSlayer Gator Bowl New Year’s Eve matchup between NC State and Texas A&M takes place Monday at 7:30 p.m. at TIAA Bank Field with many activities for Historic City News readers leading up to and following the game.

For more information on the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl and other events, visit www.taxslayergatorbowl.com

The Jacksonville Transportation Authority is offering the Gameday Xpress for the game. The Gameday Xpress will operate from two downtown locations and the Jacksonville landing. Parking is included in the shuttle ticket price. The Gameday Xpress will begin at 4:30 p.m. and continues until 12:30 a.m. to allow fans to enjoy the post-game Cole Swindell concert and fireworks. The JTA offers continuous shuttle service during the game to and from the Convention Center Lot only.

Downtown locations ($8 shuttle pass):

  • Convention Center Lot: 1005 Forsyth Street
  • Kings Avenue Parking Garage: 1003 Kings Avenue
  • The Jacksonville Landing: Hogan Street between Water and Bay (shuttle service only)

Gameday Xpress passes are $8 each and can be purchased in advance online at www.jtafla.com or via the MyJTA mobile ticketing app.

The complimentary Skyway will have extended hours for the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl and New Year’s Eve festivities.

The Skyway schedule is as follows:

  • Monday, Dec. 31 (Game Day): 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 a.m.
  • Tuesday, Jan. 1: Closed

Skyway service over the Acosta Bridge will be suspended during the fireworks show on New Year’s Eve.  Due to the construction of Jacksonville Regional Transportation Center at LaVilla, the Convention Center Skyway Station remains closed.

The St. John’s River Taxi is offering extended hours for the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl. The River Taxi will be available on game day beginning at Noon and will continue until 1:00 a.m. TaxSlayer Gator Bowl Round-trip Stadium Service is available for $10 per person, cash only.

Pick up locations include: Jacksonville Landing, Friendship Fountain, Doubletree Hotel, Lexington Hotel, and Metro Park Marina. The river taxi stops every 30-45 minutes at each location.

Visit www.jaxrivertaxi.com for additional information.

Ridesharing (Uber and Lyft) will have a designated pick-up and drop-off location on both the east and west sides of TIAA Bank Field. Request a rideshare from your preferred vendor and then proceed to the designated pick-up areas.

Traffic patterns leading into kickoff will remain the same. For anyone traveling to the stadium for the game, please plan ahead and leave extra time for increased traffic downtown prior to kickoff. Traffic patterns will allow inbound traffic throughout the game until post-game when traffic will be pointed outbound.


Stadium parking is available on game day for $30 in Lots H, K, X, and Z. Stadium lots will open at 3:30 p.m. A drop-off area will be available on both the east and west side of the stadium on game day for persons with disabilities. Patrons should enter Lot C or Lot M to access the drop-off area.


Pep Rallies at Deck the Chairs: The festivities begin Sunday as the team Pep Rallies take over Jacksonville Beach at Deck the Chairs. NC State’s pep rally kicks off the event at 4:00 p.m. along 1st Street at Seawalk Pavilion, followed by Texas A&M’s at 6:00 p.m. The Opelika High School Marching Band will perform at 5:00 p.m. and the Parris Island Marine Corps Band at 4:30 p.m.  The evening concludes with Texas A&M Yell Practice at Sneakers Sports Grille in Jacksonville Beach – the event is free and open to the public. Fans are encouraged to arrive early as capacity for this event is limited. Music and pushups will begin at 11:53 and actual Yell practice begins at Midnight.

VyStar 5K New Year’s Eve Run: The VyStar 5K New Year’s Eve Run will take place on Dec. 31 at 2:00 p.m. at The Jacksonville Landing. Runners may support “Run for a Child” by making a $10 donation to support the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl Dream Team – every donor will receive an arm band to support one of the Dream Team members. The Dream Team represents a group of 12 local children who are battling life threatening illnesses. When you cross the finish line of the VyStar 5K New Year’s Eve run, you will know that every step you ran is helping to raise funds to care for sick and injured children. Register at 1stplacesports.com or on-site on race day.

TaxSlayer Gator Bowl Game Day Schedule: TIAA Bank Field stadium gates 1 and 4 will open early at 4:30 p.m. for Happy Hour at the TaxSlayer Tailgate. During Happy Hour, enjoy a specialty rum cocktail for $5 along with vendor booths, interactive games and activities. All stadium gates open at 5:30 p.m. The TaxSlayer Gator Bowl pre-game show will begin at 7:00 p.m. and kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Following the game and trophy presentation, Platinum-selling recording artist Cole Swindell will perform on the field facing the south end zone. Once you have entered the stadium, there is no stadium reentry.

TIAA Bank Field Security: Fans attending the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl who have a mobile ticket should download their ticket to their Apple Wallet or Google Wallet to ensure expedited entry at the gates. Additionally, all patrons will be required to enter the gates through a metal detector. No food or drink will be permitted from outside of the stadium. The NFL Clear Bag policy will be in place for the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl. Complimentary clear bags are available at all Fan Information Booths and Will Call locations. Any clear bags measuring 12x6x12 or smaller may be carried into the facility. Ticket holders are permitted to bring seat cushions and blankets inside.