Florida’s matchup with Eastern Washington, originally scheduled for noon on Saturday, October 1, will now be played at noon on Sunday, October 2, due to the expected track and impact of Hurricane Ian on the Florida peninsula this week.
Florida made the announcement late Tuesday morning, with Ian’s impacts on the Sunshine State expected to begin ramping up late Tuesday or early Wednesday. The University of Florida announced late Monday that all classes and academic activities will be cancelled from Wednesday through Friday.
All tickets for Saturday’s game will be honored on Sunday, but it appears that no refunds will be offered, with Florida’s release instead including this language:
Fans with an account with the Gators Ticket Office are encourage(d) to use their account manager at FloridaGators.com/tickets to resell any unused tickets.
Hurricane Ian is expected to make landfall on the southwest coast of Florida in the overnight hours of Wednesday, and currently has maximum sustained winds of 115 miles per hour, with additional strengthening expected to make it a Category 4 storm as it churns through the Gulf of Mexico. While some weakening is expected after it reaches its peak intensity, Ian is likely to bring torrential rain and significant storm surge to the low-lying areas of the Treasure Coast and Tampa-St. Petersburg area, with localized hurricane-force winds and widespread tropical storm-force winds also affecting Florida.
For Gainesville, however, a recent eastward tack for Ian’s track is likely good news. While weekend tracking and forecasting had Ian targeting a landfall north of Tampa that could have brought its eye near or over Gainesville, a more southerly landfall makes that outcome less likely, and could spare the area the worst of Ian’s effects.
It is still possible that track could change, of course, and even any minimal changes in a hurricane’s path can result in significant changes in effects and damage. Florida’s release notes that “the UAA continues to work with UF, local and state officials to monitor Hurricane Ian and any potential impacts on the newly scheduled date.”
But if all goes well, it appears the Gators will try to give playing on Sunday in the wake of a significant storm a go.