Has anyone been to Ben Hill Griffin Stadium (aka the Swamp/Florida) for a game?

81usaf92

Hall of Fame
Apr 26, 2008
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Off season topic

Since we are playing Florida this year and I like to travel to SEC stadiums I have never been to once a season (didn’t this past year because the only stadium on the schedule that I haven’t been to was Arkansas and I wasn’t going to limited capacity for Arkansas) this year I’m going to make it to Florida if restrictions are lifted. So here are some questions.

1) when did you go

2) over rated or under rated

3) how does it compare to other SEC stadiums

4) where to stay

5) is it one of those places that you MUST sit in certain sections because some have obstructed views

6) what’s the tailgate scene like

7) what is their must do and must see tradition

8) what is their must go restaurant

9) is anyone going if restrictions are lifted

10) Any suggestions to offer for those who never been. (Witty or serious comments are welcomed all the same)

Thanks and RTR
 
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GrayTide

Hall of Fame
Nov 15, 2005
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Can't be of much help 81usaf92 because the only time I attended a game in BHG stadium, Coach Bryant was HC. The 1979 game was in BHG stadium and we won 40-0. The stadium was okay, but I am sure there have been lots of improvements since then. Sorry I could not be of any help.
 

Moro Creek

All-SEC
Jan 21, 2014
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I go once a year to a game at Ben Hill Griffith. There are several motel at the I-75 Archer Road exit, Doubletree is my Gator buddy's favorite place to stay. There is also a Hampton, Red Roof, Drury, Springhill Suites, and a few others like Super Eight. The traffic around the stadium is terrible as is the parking. I always go with a Gator fan who has a private parking space. I enjoy watching a game at this stadium. It is old and needs to be renovated, but most seats are good and it is a good game day experience. Tail gating is lots of fun in the parking area we go to. I only live about 45 minutes from Gainesville so I can't help with any restaurants, but I know there are lots of hangouts right downtown only a few blocks from stadium. Hope this helps.
 

4Q Basket Case

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Nov 8, 2004
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I’ve been to only one game there — the 1991 Alabama-Florida game where they beat us 35-0, and it could easily have been far worse.

That was the beginning of Spurrier’s heyday, and fans were mouthy, like him.

It’s a long story I won’t detail here, but our pre-game festivities ended when a bouncer at the Purple Porpoise was so nasty to me and Mrs. Basket Case that he got himself arrested....which, another long story short, very nearly shut the place down.

For a frame of reference as to the impact if it had been closed, imagine The Houndstooth suddenly had to shut down about 4 hours before a major SEC game in Tuscaloosa.

I don’t know if the Purple Porpoise even exists anymore, but between that experience and the game and the Florida fans, I’ve seen enough of Gainesville and BHG to last me a lifetime.
 

saturdaysarebet

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Jul 26, 2018
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I was there once so long ago Tim Tebow was quarterback for the Gators against Tennessee. So many beautiful women. Hot, hot, hot and that goes for the women and the weather. Sat in the end zone in full sun. I parked in a nearby church parking lot and it was a very short walk to the stadium and not over priced. For not having 100,000 people the Swamp was loud.

There was some restaurant that was the place to go along the main drag, sorry I can't remember the name, but it was so jammed-pack I couldn't even get in to watch other games. I stayed in Ocala as it was a last minute thing and the drive wasn't bad at all.

Tailgaiting was going on everywhere all over campus and man was it a mess afterwards.

I've been to 17 different power 5 stadium to watch a game and I'm hoping to see my first game at Bryant-Denny Stadium this year.
 
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crimsonaudio

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My dad and I went in 2015 for the UT game - the fans were, without question, some of the nicest I've been around. We did sit opposite the student section so we didn't have to deal with mouthy kids, but walking around before the game people were overwhelmingly friendly. I was honestly shocked.

It's a decent stadium, doesn't seem as big as it is. Weird that way. Also not nearly as loud as I expected.

Tailgating seemed really spread out, very hit and miss. Got zero invitations to join anyone, but very few places are like LSU in that regard.

Overall I'd rank it as a must-see, but less intimidating than I expected.
 

edwd58

All-American
Aug 2, 2006
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My crew went in 2011 (won 38-10). Stayed well north of the city, perhaps Lake City?, which wasn't nearly as expensive as places closer to/in Gainesville. Parked at a huge shopping mall and took a shuttle to/from the stadium which worked out well. Some had seats in the upper levels and some in the lower bowl but no one complained about seating or gator fans. A good trip and venue, would go again.
 
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imauafan

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Mar 3, 2004
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Huntsville, AL
I’ve been to only one game there — the 1991 Alabama-Florida game where they beat us 35-0, and it could easily have been far worse.

That was the beginning of Spurrier’s heyday, and fans were mouthy, like him.

It’s a long story I won’t detail here, but our pre-game festivities ended when a bouncer at the Purple Porpoise was so nasty to me and Mrs. Basket Case that he got himself arrested....which, another long story short, very nearly shut the place down.

For a frame of reference as to the impact if it had been closed, imagine The Houndstooth suddenly had to shut down about 4 hours before a major SEC game in Tuscaloosa.

I don’t know if the Purple Porpoise even exists anymore, but between that experience and the game and the Florida fans, I’ve seen enough of Gainesville and BHG to last me a lifetime.
I was there for that game. We left early 4th quarter to avoid as much of the fan harassment as possible. That was our last loss for the next 28 games.
 

Con

Hall of Fame
Dec 19, 2006
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Northern Hemisphere
Off season topic

Since we are playing Florida this year and I like to travel to SEC stadiums I have never been to once a season (didn’t this past year because the only stadium on the schedule that I haven’t been to was Arkansas and I wasn’t going to limited capacity for Arkansas) this year I’m going to make it to Florida if restrictions are lifted. So here are some questions.

1) when did you go

2) over rated or under rated

3) how does it compare to other SEC stadiums

4) where to stay

5) is it one of those places that you MUST sit in certain sections because some have obstructed views

6) what’s the tailgate scene like

7) what is their must do and must see tradition

8) what is their must go restaurant

9) is anyone going if restrictions are lifted

10) Any suggestions to offer for those who never been. (Witty or serious comments are welcomed all the same)

Thanks and RTR
I don't know if it is a tradition on game day but if you get there a day early they have some Bat Houses on Museum Rd.
@Bazza told me about them when we were visiting the campus a few years ago and if you show up at the right time (dusk) it is very cool watching all the bats come out and start flying away from the houses.
 
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The Ols

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Jul 8, 2012
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I’ve been to only one game there — the 1991 Alabama-Florida game where they beat us 35-0, and it could easily have been far worse.

That was the beginning of Spurrier’s heyday, and fans were mouthy, like him.

It’s a long story I won’t detail here, but our pre-game festivities ended when a bouncer at the Purple Porpoise was so nasty to me and Mrs. Basket Case that he got himself arrested....which, another long story short, very nearly shut the place down.

For a frame of reference as to the impact if it had been closed, imagine The Houndstooth suddenly had to shut down about 4 hours before a major SEC game in Tuscaloosa.

I don’t know if the Purple Porpoise even exists anymore, but between that experience and the game and the Florida fans, I’ve seen enough of Gainesville and BHG to last me a lifetime.
Inquiring minds want to know...😁
 

bamamoss2

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Sep 10, 2000
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1) when did you go? 1999

2) over rated or under rated? It is the swamp just as advertised.

3) how does it compare to other SEC stadiums? It sucks.

4) where to stay? We stayed at cheap Econolodge but loved it.

5) is it one of those places that you MUST sit in certain sections because some have obstructed views? Not as I recall, we were in cheap corner seats but it was good to me.

6) what’s the tailgate scene like? Did not tail gate, just had to swim through the blow hard Gators.

7) what is their must do and must see tradition? Acting like a Gator.

8) what is their must go restaurant? Don't know.

9) is anyone going if restrictions are lifted? Never again.

10) Any suggestions to offer for those who never been. (Witty or serious comments are welcomed all the same) . When Bama wins, do not make a lot of noise at your hotel as they will call the law on you.
 
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Bazza

TideFans Legend
Oct 1, 2011
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@81usaf92 - Hope you will be able to attend a game at The Swamp!

I haven't been to a game myself in quite a while, so cannot offer any first hand experience, but will try to get some info for you as we move forward.

There's a lot of stuff at the linked page below that might be helpful. It's from last year so I expect some of the cv19 stuff will change as we get closer.

What to Expect on Football Gamedays

I will post again when I get more info for you.
 
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BhamToTexas

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Dec 25, 2020
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I went to the game in 2011 and had a fantastic time. I went with a UF buddy with season tickets. We were in an end zone corner. Two highly ranked teams. The first play of the game the Gators hit a bomb to go up 7-0, the place went nuts. It was mostly Bama after that. Trent couldn't be stopped. Upshaw ran a pick 6 straight toward me in the end zone.

I can't remember exactly where we stayed or what restaurant (sorry) but it was a great atmosphere the night before the game. We got to a great tailgate spot under a tree early and cooked out all day. Evening game time. I met tons of his friends and everyone was great. Bloody Marys were delicious. The scenery was spectacular.

If Bama had not won big my experience might have been different...
 
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BamaNation

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Apr 9, 1999
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Yes. Went while a student at Bama in 1991. Last game we lost before pulling off 28 straight wins including the 1992 NC.

We drove down through a deluge to get there the night before (stayed with friends of friends) and it rained all Saturday right up until we parked and started walking to the stadium. So we were soaked during the lashing. Pretty horrible experience. Fans weren't exactly the nicest, either. Almost got run off the interstate after the game by multiple crazy gators who were flipping us off and other stuff (got mooned at least 3X! getting out of the area around the stadium back onto the interstate). I think the humidity that day was 103472% (+/- 3%).

wikipedia says the following:
" Alabama traveled to Florida and got blown out, 35–0. It was the worst Tide loss in 34 years, since a 40–0 loss in 1957 to Auburn that ended the disastrous coaching tenure of J.B. Whitworth. It also cost Alabama an SEC title as the Gators went undefeated in conference play. However, it would be the last game Alabama lost until November 1993, as the next week's 10–0 victory over Georgia began a 28-game winning streak. "

September 146:30 p.m.at No. 6 FloridaNo. 16ESPNL 0–3585,069
 
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