OFFICIAL RELEASE FROM CHICK-FIL-A KICKOFF GAME
ATLANTA (Aug. 9, 2017) – The 2017 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game between No. 24 Tennessee and Georgia Tech will cap off college football’s opening weekend in front of a sold out crowd in what will be the second college game to be played in the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
“I can’t think of a better way to officially open the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium than with an ACC-SEC rivalry game in a sold out atmosphere in the Capital of College Football,” said Gary Stokan, CEO and president of Peach Bowl, Inc. “To host two great traditional football powers in Georgia Tech and Tennessee, while also honoring Hall of Famer Bobby Dodd, who was an All-American at Tennessee and a National Championship Coach at Georgia Tech, is a very special way to end the first weekend of college football.”
The Tennessee-Georgia Tech game will be featured in prime time on Monday, Sept. 4 at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN. Tennessee and Georgia Tech have met 43 times, with the Volunteers holding a 24-17-2 series lead over the Yellow Jackets. One-time SEC rivals, this year’s meeting will mark the first between the programs in 30 years, when Tennessee defeated Georgia Tech 29-15 in Knoxville during the 1987 season.
“When you get two storied programs with fan bases as passionate as Tennessee and Georgia Tech, you know you’re going to have a tough ticket,” said Percy Vaughn, Peach Bowl, Inc. chairman. “Add in the fact the two teams are meeting for the first time in three decades, and you get an even higher demand for tickets from Volunteer and Yellow Jacket fans.”
This will be Tennessee’s second appearance in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game, the first a 2012 win over N.C. State. Georgia Tech will be making its first appearance in the game.
The sold out game will also honor legendary coach Bobby Dodd, who is only one of three people inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a player and a coach. Dodd played quarterback at Tennessee (1928-1930) and coached at Georgia Tech (1931-1966), leading the Yellow Jackets to the program’s 1952 National Championship. The Dodd Trophy, named for Coach Dodd, is the most coveted college football coach of the year award.
This year’s matchups – which also includes the Florida State-Alabama game Sept. 2 – will mark the 9th and 10th ACC vs. SEC meetings in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game, with the SEC currently holding a 7-1 advantage over the ACC in those games.
The nation’s longest-running kickoff game, the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game has now sold out 10 of its 13 matchups. The game averages 67,645 – higher than the attendance of 35 bowl games last year – and has an average payout of $4.7 million which is higher than 27 bowl games last year. Television viewership is also traditionally strong with more than 47.4 million viewers tuning in to the series since its inaugural series in 2008.
Past Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game teams and winners of The Old Leather Helmet include:
Year: Match-Up: Winner:
2016 (18) Georgia vs. (22) North Carolina Georgia 33-24
2015 (25) Louisville vs. (6) Auburn Auburn 31-24
2014 (2) Alabama vs. West Virginia Alabama 33-23
2014 (18) Ole Miss vs. Boise State Ole Miss 35-13
2013 (1) Alabama vs. Virginia Tech Alabama 35-10
2012 (14) Clemson vs. (24) Auburn Clemson 26-19
2012 (25) NC State vs. Tennessee Tennessee 35-21
2011 (5) Boise State vs. (19) Georgia Boise State 35-21
2010 (16) LSU vs. (18) North Carolina LSU 30-24
2009 (5) Alabama vs. (7) Virginia Tech Alabama 34-24
2008 (9) Clemson vs. (24) Alabama Alabama 34-10
The teams will battle for The Old Leather Helmet Trophy, one of college football’s newest rivalry-style icons. Traditionally, winners of The Old Leather Helmet don the helmet on the field after the game, starting with the head coach and then rotating from player to player as the team celebrates its victory.
The post Chick-Fil-A Kickoff Game between Tennessee and Georgia Tech officially sold out appeared first on SEC Country.
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