LEADOFF: Atlanta host committee set to turn focus to Super Bowl

A view of Mercedes-Benz Stadium as the Alabama Crimson Tide celebrates beating the Georgia Bulldogs in overtime and winning college football’s national championship Monday night.

Credit: Mike Zarrilli

caption arrowCaption
A view of Mercedes-Benz Stadium as the Alabama Crimson Tide celebrates beating the Georgia Bulldogs in overtime and winning college football’s national championship Monday night.

Credit: Mike Zarrilli

Credit: Mike Zarrilli

Good morning. This is LEADOFF, today’s early look inside Atlanta sports.

In an Atlanta hotel ballroom Tuesday morning, officials with the Atlanta Football Host Committee participated in a ceremonial handoff of responsibilities to the Bay Area Host Committee, which will guide  next season's college football national championship game in the San Francisco 49ers' stadium in Santa Clara, Calif.

In less than four weeks, the same Atlanta representatives will be on the other end of a similar handoff ceremony.

They’ll be in Minneapolis, site of Super Bowl 52 on Feb. 4, and at a news conference on the day after the game Atlanta will officially go on the clock as the hosts of Super Bowl 53 on Feb. 3, 2019.

The Atlanta host committee will have a delegation in Minnesota late this month/early next month to observe operations around the Super Bowl. The game will be played in U.S. Bank Stadium, which opened one year ahead of Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Dan Corso, president of the Atlanta Sports Council, said it’ll be “exciting” to receive the Super Bowl handoff from Minneapolis. As for giving up the reins of the CFP title game, “it’s actually not fun handing that off,” Corso said. “It was great having it here, and certainly we would like to have it back at the next available opportunity.”

Just as Atlanta representatives will be in Minneapolis to study this year's Super Bowl, a delegation of San Francisco Bay Area officials was in Atlanta in the days leading to Monday's college football title game.  The event will move from the oft-billed "Capital of College Football" to Silicon Valley.

“We look forward to working with our civic and corporate partners to celebrate the traditions and pageantry that make college football so special,” 49ers president Al Guido said after taking the ceremonial handoff from Atlanta. “At the same time, we look forward to leveraging our partnerships with Silicon Valley tech partners to enhance the ways fans experience college football and the CFP.”

The Bay Area, of course, is not the college football hotbed that Atlanta is. The San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose television market posted the 50th highest (or seventh lowest) TV rating among the nation's 56 metered markets for Monday night's Georgia-Alabama telecast, a 10.9 rating, according to SportsBusiness Daily. (Click here for more on the game's TV ratings, locally and nationally.)

In Atlanta, Monday's game left some issues that will need to be addressed before next year's Super Bowl arrives here, such as the long delays for fans to enter Mercedes-Benz Stadium, the stadium roof that leaked in at least one spot during pregame rain and a chaotic scene at MARTA's Five Points station after the game.

DON’T MISS ...

Seth Emerson's deep dive into the national-title game, including analysis of the final play, the officiating and Georgia's offensive playcalling. Click here.

Jeff Schultz's exchange with a Philadelphia columnist about Saturday's Falcons-Eagles playoff game. Click here.

Mark Bradley's examination of whether the Falcons are, or could be, a Super Bowl team this season. Click here.

About the Author

Editors' Picks