Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Florida Gators will play in a revamped Ben Hill Griffin Stadium

Ben Hill Griffin Stadium has had some cosmetic work done.

A 60-foot-wide (40-yard-line to 40-yard-line), 40-foot deep Gator head logo will now be displayed prominently on the field, moving the "F" from the 50-yard-line to one on each 25-yard line. The SEC logo will sit opposite the "F" letters.

The stadium also has a $5.6 million upgrade in the west concourse, designed to alleviate crowding and congestion that has long frustrated fans. The upgrade includes more than 40 places to purchase concessions, and concession stands that have been moved back 7 feet. All concession stands will have flat-screen TVs, the bathrooms have been completely renovated and brighter lights and a new sound system were installed. And for the old-school fan, some of the walls will be decorated with pictures illustrating Florida's championship seasons, and five of the greatest games played at the stadium.

'Yes, I do'

Saturday holds significance for Florida LB Darrin Kitchens because it most likely will mark the first start of his career, but the date pales in comparison to June 20.

That's when Kitchens married his high school sweetheart, Nathalie, whom he met at Homestead High when she was a senior and he was a freshman. The two began dating when he was a junior.

Now Kitchens, 20, is the only married player on the Gators' team.

Kitchens said he's fielded questions from teammates about married life, and for sure, it seems odd to some, but he said he has no regrets.

"It puts things in perspective," he said. "I've got something a little more to push for. I'm not just fighting for myself out there."

No ban, just focus

Coach Will Muschamp said this month he has no plans to ban Twitter and other social media, but several Gator players said they are putting a personal ban on themselves. Florida OL Xavier Nixon, above left, and Mike Gillislee said they are among a growing number of players who will cease or at least reduce usage of social media, including Twitter.

"There's been a lot of talk going on, but we feel like it's time to go to work," Gillislee said. "No Twitter at all, no social media. It's not everybody, but many of us feel like it's just time to get focused only on football."

Florida Gators will play in a revamped Ben Hill Griffin Stadium 08/24/12 [Last modified: Friday, August 24, 2012 4:57pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rowdies shut out at Pittsburgh

    Soccer

    PITTSBURGH — The Rowdies lost their first USL game in nearly a month, 1-0 to Pittsburgh on Thursday night.

  2. LSU's Paul Mainieri defends FSU's Mike Martin; Gators play Friday

    College

    OMAHA, Neb. — LSU coach Paul Mainieri says whether Florida State's Mike Martin ever wins a national championship should have no bearing on how his long career in college baseball is judged.

    MADE IT: Josh Watson beats the tag of Louisville catcher Colby Fitch during TCU’s 4-3 win in the College World Series.
  3. Lightning fans, don't get attached to your first-round draft picks

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — When Lightning GM Steve Yzerman announces his first-round pick tonight in the amateur draft at No. 14, he'll invite the prospect onto the stage for the once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunity.

    Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Jonathan Drouin (27) eludes  Montreal Canadiens left wing Phillip Danault (24) during the second period of Wednesday???‚??„?s (12/28/16) game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Montreal Canadiens at the Amalie Arena in Tampa.
  4. Lightning GM Steve Yzerman also has top-9 wing on his wish list

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — Much has been made about the Lightning's interest in bolstering its blue line, even after last week's acquisition of defense prospect Mikhail Sergachev.

    Tampa Bay Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman gestures as he speaks to the media about recent trades during a news conference before an NHL hockey game against the Carolina Hurricanes Wednesday, March 1, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. The Lightning, over the past few days, have traded goaltender Ben Bishop to the Los Angeles Kings, forward Brian Boyle to the Toronto Maple Leafs, and forward Valtteri Filppula to the Philadelphia Flyers. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara) TPA101