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Wednesday January 22, 2014Pack the Dome! Gators Trying to Get 25,000 Fans into the O'Dome This Weekend

Scott Carter
By SCOTT CARTER Senior Writer

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The doors of the O’Dome are going to fly open this weekend with four Gator sporting events in three days.

The University Athletic Association wants you and your neighbor, friend, spouse, son, daughter – or anyone else you know – to walk through them as part of its “Pack the Dome” fan initiative.

To goal is simple: to draw a combined 25,000 fans to the four UF sporting events at the O’Connell Center from Friday to Sunday.

The weekend starts Friday night at 7 when the defending NCAA champion Florida gymnastics team hosts Georgia in its home opener.

The Gators won road meets at UCLA and Auburn to start the season and now it’s time to perform in front of the home fans. The goal is for 10,000 fans to come out and watch Rhonda Faehn’s team compete at home for the first time since earning the program’s first national title last April in Los Angeles.

There is a doubleheader scheduled Saturday at the O’Dome.

The UF men’s and women’s swim teams host Auburn starting at 11 a.m. For the UF men, the matchup with Auburn stirs memories of their victory over the Tigers at last season’s SEC Championships. The Gator men snapped Auburn’s 16-year grip on the SEC title.

The goal is for at least 1,000 fans to turn out for the swim meet.

A few hours later the No. 6-ranked UF men’s basketball team hosts SEC rival Tennessee at 4 p.m. Billy Donovan’s squad has climbed the polls in recent weeks with wins over Kansas and Memphis and a strong start in conference play.

The defending SEC-champion Gators have been a strong draw this season and the UAA’s goal is for at least 12,000 fans to pack the O’Dome Saturday against the Vols. The Gators have won a school-record 25 consecutive home games.

Finally, the O’Dome’s busy weekend comes to a close on Sunday when the UF women’s basketball team hosts SEC rival Auburn at 3 p.m. The Gators are challenging for an NCAA Tournament bid behind the strong play of point guard Jaterra Bonds, who has been SEC Player of the Week twice.

The goal is for at least 2,000 fans to come out and support Amanda Butler’s team during “We Back Pat” day at the O’Connell Center, a week-long movement in honor of former Tennessee coach Pat Summitt to raise awareness of Alzheimer’s disease.

You can follow @GatorZoneNews on Twitter for real-time updates on “Pack the Dome” weekend at UF.

The doors will be open.


“Pack The Dome” Goals:


·         Goal: To get a combined 25,000 fans into the O’Connell Center from the following events:

o    1/24- Gymnastics vs. Georgia

§  Goal Attendance: 10,000+

o    1/25- Swimming and Diving vs. Auburn

§  Goal Attendance: 1,000+

o    1/25- MBB vs. Tennessee

§  Goal Attendance: 12,000 +

o    1/26- WBB vs. Auburn

§  Goal Attendance: 2,000+



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