According to the latest timetable, groundbreaking is scheduled for February 2012 and the opening for fall 2013. Both dates have been pushed back from the targets set when the hall’s relocation to Atlanta was announced in September 2009.
The reasons for the delay, Stokan said, were a shift in preferred sites and a swelling of the project from a 50,000-square-foot, $50 million facility to a 75,000-square-foot, $82 million facility.
Alabama played in two of the first two Kickoff games, also defeating Clemson, 34-10, in 2008.
The game will be televised by either ABC or ESPN.
Georgia and Boise State will open the 2011 season Sept. 3 in the Kickoff game, which will be televised by ESPN. There will be two games in 2012, with Tennessee facing North Carolina State and Auburn playing Clemson. The 2014 matchup also is set, with Ole Miss facing Boise State.
“When we started this in 2008 we looked at pairing teams from the ACC and the SEC, but with the caveat that we wanted the best matchup on the first weekend of college football,” Stoken said.
“We’ve had ranked teams every year, and we think that will be the case in 2013. ... There is no doubt that to make this a recipe for the most successful game we needed the support of the fan bases. ... Alabama and Virginia Tech have two of the best fan bases.”