FSU head coach Willie Taggart speaks to the media prior to speaking at the Panama City spring booster tour event.
Wayne E McGahee III, Democrat staff writer
The Florida State football team is continuing the trend of neutral-site season openers.
The Seminoles will open their 2019 season at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville against Boise State on Aug. 31, JaxSports officially announced in a press conference Wednesday.
The matchup has been on the books since 2013, when it was agreed upon as a home-and-home series in 2019 and 2020.
“I would like to thank President Thrasher, Vice President and Director of Athletics Stan Wilcox and the entire team at FSU for hosting their 2019 season opener at TIAA Bank Field,” said Richard Catlett, President of the Jacksonville Sports Council.
“Florida State fans have strongly supported games in Jacksonville, as a matter of fact, FSU still holds the all-time attendance record here for the 2007 River City Showdown against Alabama with record attendance of 85,412.
FSU electing to move the game to Jacksonville instead of holding it as a seventh home game in Tallahassee is another in a line of season-opening games held in neutral-site stadiums around the area.
“I commend Stan Wilcox and the JAXSPORTS Council for creating this tremendous opportunity for Florida State University,” FSU President John Thrasher said.
“We are excited to play in Jacksonville and give our alumni and fans the opportunity to enjoy a game in one of the premier athletic venues in the South.”
More: Hard work turns FSU’s Rhett Aplin into complete baseball player
More: Seminole Central: Florida State CB Levonta Taylor getting national recognition
The matchup with the Broncos in Jacksonville will be FSU’s third neutral-site game to open a season in the last four seasons — and fourth in the last six — joining a matchup with Ole Miss in Orlando in 2016 and a game against Alabama in Atlanta last season.
FSU also has a return trip to Atlanta slated for 2020 to take on West Virginia in another Chick Fil-A Kickoff Game.
“I think it’s something that we’re going to continue to explore and consider down the road,” Wilcox told reporters at this week’s ACC Spring Meetings.
“There’s some pretty interesting, potential match-ups for us that would be great draws. There are many sites that want to host us and want to have us. We’re listening. The right offer comes along, the right team, and we all feel comfortable with it, we’ll do it if it’s good for the program, university and our fans.”
This year’s season opener will be held in Tallahassee against Virginia Tech on Sep. 3.
Next year’s game in Jacksonville will be FSU’s first regular-season game there since a 39-21 win over Colorado there in 2008.
The Seminoles’ last game in Jacksonville was a 33-21 win over West Virginia in the 2010 Gator Bowl, Bobby Bowden’s last game as head coach.
The previously scheduled return trip to Boise remains on the schedule, slated for Sep. 19, 2020.