Hurricane Dorian’s economic impact is already being felt in Jacksonville as Mayor Lenny Curry announced Thursday afternoon that the football game between Florida State University and Boise State University is being moved to Tallahassee.
It will be played Saturday at noon at Doak Campbell Stadium, the Seminoles’ home field. It was previously scheduled for 7 p.m. Saturday at TIAA Bank Field.
"This decision was based solely on the safety of our citizens and people that may be traveling to our city," Curry said, adding the game would have resulted in having thousands of additional people in Jacksonville from out of town.
"Imagine a scenario where a football game is being played. EPSN is here. And I’ve ordered evacuations,” Curry said. “It was a tough decision but the right decision."
Curry said game tickets will be $10 in Tallahassee, and all tickets sold in Jacksonville will be refunded.
The mayor acknowledged the economic impact the decision will have on area businesses but added, "This is about the safety of people above all. You can’t put a price on the people of our city and people that would be visiting our city."
Thursday night's Falcons vs. Jaguars preseason game at TIAA Bank Field will go forward as secheduled.
Regarding shelters or possible evacuations, no announcements were made at Thursday afternoon's briefing at the Duval County Emergency Operations Center.
Duval County Public Schools Superintendent Diana Greene said there will be school on Friday and Friday night football games in Jacksonville will still be held as scheduled, "with the exception of a couple of teams that were traveling down south. Those games have been canceled," Greene said.
The mayor reiterated now is the time to prepare.
“I’m going to stress again, make sure you know your evacuation zone," he said.
On Thursday afternoon, forecasters were predicting Hurricane Dorian would hit Florida as an extremely dangerous Category 4 storm, bringing intense rain and sustained winds of 130 mph. Where it will make landfall was an open question.
"It would be irresponsible to rule out landfall anywhere on the East Coast of Florida," said Florida Public Radio Emergency Network meteorologist Ray Hawthorne.