The “Easter Bowl” event will not take place at the Alachua County Fairgrounds on April 21, 2019. The County never entered into an agreement, never approved the event, and no contract was ever signed.
If the event is to take place at the Alachua County Fairgrounds, it must be rescheduled to another possible future date. It is the County’s understanding that in spite of not having a contract for the use of the Fairgrounds, the event organizers have presold tickets to the event. It is important for ticket holders to understand that the event will not take place at the Alachua County Fairgrounds on the above date.
County requirements for entering into a contract for an event of this magnitude were not met. These requirements include items that need to be in place 30 days before an event such as an alcohol sales license, insurance certification, a license agreement for use of the Alachua County Fairgrounds, and a security plan approved by the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office. These items were not in place 30 days out from the Easter Bowl event.
Concerning the security plan, previously scheduled events limited the number of personnel available to secure the venue for the Easter Bowl. Prior commitments for a Garth Brooks concert at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, with home football game type crowds, as well as events within the city of Gainesville prior to and after the proposed Easter Bowl depleted available local law enforcement resources; the volume of deputies and officers required are not available. One of the requirements for the use of the County Fairgrounds is law enforcement presence, and while neighboring agencies could respond to assist under mutual aid agreements in the event of an emergency, other standards apply for planned events. To date, a viable site security and safety plan from the event organizers is still missing, limiting officials’ ability to build in safeguards for the community.
The County is willing to work with the event planners to find an alternative date for this event.
For more information, contact Alachua County Communications and Legislative Affairs Director Mark Sexton at 352-264-6979.