[ad_1]

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — After inspecting the stadium, meeting with campus and city officials and assessing available resources, Florida decided its Southeastern Conference opener against Tennessee would be played as scheduled.

So it’s game on in Gainesville.

The SEC announced Tuesday that the league opener between the No. 23 Volunteers (2-0) and the 24th-ranked Gators (0-1) will remain a 3:30 p.m. ET kickoff at Steve Spurrier-Florida Field on Saturday, keeping the game intact less than a week after Hurricane Irma devastated parts of the Sunshine State.

Florida athletic director Scott Stricklin said the decision was made after meeting with local officials. The stadium sustained only minor damage to signage.

RELATED: Oklahoma, USC rise; Ohio State drops in new AP Poll | Poll breakdown

“While we know how important it is for this campus and the Gainesville community to host a game, our thoughts and prayers continue to be with those that have been impacted by the storm, and we are thankful for the support Floridians have received during this time,” Stricklin said.

Stricklin encouraged fans to arrive early and to expect traffic congestion and delays because of ongoing hurricane cleanup efforts.

The Gators canceled their home opener last week against Northern Colorado because of the impending hurricane, which passed through Gainesville early Monday. It’s unclear how much practice and meeting time Florida missed in the past week. The Volunteers, meanwhile, beat Indiana State 42-7 on Saturday in Knoxville, Tennessee.

There had been concern whether the Tennessee-Florida game could and would be played in Gainesville. Gas has been scarce across the state, and flooding and loss of electricity remain significant issues for Florida residents.

Florida officials assessed all resources, most notably whether enough first-responders and staffers would be available to work the game and make it a safe environment.

“The University of Florida has been diligent in assessing the impact of Hurricane Irma on the Gainesville community and has made a thoughtful decision in moving forward with the game,” SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey said. “We appreciate the communication, coordination and cooperation among the many agencies and groups necessary to produce a game in a safe environment. Our prayers remain with the people of Florida as well as Texas as they recover from Hurricanes Irma and Harvey.”

WATCH: Week 2 college football Social Rewind