Money talks, especially for Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley. On Thursday, it was announced that the Gators and Michigan Wolverines will open the 2017 season at AT&T Stadium in the “Cowboys Classic.”
The Gators haven’t left the state of Florida for a non-conference game since 1991 (vs. Syracuse). Foley stated that the opportunity to further expose UF’s brand to the nation was a big selling point. According to a source of David Jones, it also appears that the payout for the game was too good to pass up.
Per source familiar with negotiations: #Gators payout for 2017 game with Michigan is $6 million.
— David Jones (@DaveJonesUFbeat) December 19, 2013
Foley stated that this sort of game ”will be very much the exception, not the rule, but to sit here and totally close the door on these opportunities just doesn’t make sense.”
Florida doesn’t always leave the state, but when the Gators do, it’s for several million dollars.