Atlanta United victory threatens to postpone football championship games

It was snow and ice that postponed six state championship football games last year.

This year, the forecast is soccer, which threatens to move the eight state finals slated for Dec. 7-8 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium to Dec. 11-12, still at the Benz, but on a Tuesday and a Wednesday.

The Atlanta United soccer team won its MLS semifinal game on Sunday with a 3-0 victory over the New York Red Bulls. One more Atlanta victory and MLS Cup will be played Dec. 8 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

The GHSA anticipated the potential conflict and announced contingency plans in preseason.

For the football games to move, Atlanta United must finish off the Red Bulls on Thursday in New Jersey. The semifinal format is a two-game series. The team that scores the most goals overall in the two games will be the winner. In case of a tie, the team scoring the most goals on the opponent’s home field is the winner. If still tied, the teams will play a shootout.

In short, Atlanta is heavily favored to advance with a 3-0 victory in its pocket.

A year ago, six state finals were postponed for a week because of a winter storm that arrived suddenly and made travel hazardous. Those games were moved to high school stadiums because Mercedes-Benz Stadium was unavailable.

This time, all finals will remain indoors at the original venue. Here is the schedule for the state finals:

Dec. 7 (or Dec. 11)

10 a.m. - A (public)

1 p.m. - AAA

4:30 p.m. - AAAAA

8 p.m. – AAAAAA
Dec. 8 (or Dec. 12)

10 a.m. - A (private)

1 p.m. - AA

4:30 p.m. - AAAA

8 p.m. - AAAAAAA