The date is set. The tickets are nearly sold out. The nation awaits. The Florida Gators will take on the Georgetown Hoyas on Nov. 9. The game will be played aboard the aircraft carrier USS Bataan near Jacksonville, Florida in front of a crowd of about 4,000.
Initially, the seating capacity was going to be 8,000, but the number was halved to 4,000, according to the event organizer Alan Verlander. The capacity changed because the platform on the Bataan was altered. The plan was for 5,000 of the tickets to be reserved for servicemen and 3,000 left for the public. Now, those ratios are being drastically reduced to fit the change.
Tickets for the game started at $1,000. This included tickets to the NFL matchup on Nov. 8 between the Indianapolis Colts and the Jacksonville Jaguars in addition to the pregame concert prior to the basketball game on Nov.9. For those not able to get a seat aboard the aircraft, there will be jumbotrons on the base that will display the games. ”So there will be a game-day atmosphere for those who can’t make it on the ship,” Verlander told Kevin Brock of Gatorsports.com.
This will mark the second straight year NCAA basketball has had an aircraft carrier game. Last season, the North Carolina Tarheels had an exciting dual with the Michigan State Spartans on the flight deck of the USS Carl Vinson. President Barack Obama attended the game and the images were glorious.
This year’s game involves another great game between two college basketball powerhouses. Two of the better college basketball coaches in this era, Billy Donovan and John Thompson III, will make it more enjoyable to watch. Basketball fans, get ready for another historic night.