SBD/December 5, 2011/Colleges

ACC Announces Football Championship Game Will Return To Charlotte In '13, '14

Swofford hinted he would like to see Charlotte be game's permanent host
The ACC football championship game "will remain at Bank of America Stadium in 2013 and '14," according to David Scott of the CHARLOTTE OBSERVER. After ACC Commissioner John Swofford made the announcement Friday, he hinted that he "would like to see Charlotte be the game's permanent host." He said, "We prefer a quality, neutral site where the game can be successful year in and year out." Swofford said that the conference "will wait until 2013 to decide on that, after another series of television contracts with the league's bowl affiliates" and BCS are signed. Virginia Tech football coach Frank Beamer, whose team lost to Clemson in Saturday's game, said, "This is the place for it." Scott noted the "key metric for Charlotte has been ticket sales, and the game has been a sellout in both its seasons" in the city. Swofford: "They're back-to-back sellouts and that's very, very important to us. The events surrounding the game are truly outstanding and there's good growth in ticket sales." Swofford added that the ACC's 12 members "unanimously backed returning to Charlotte." He said that "no other cities were considered" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 12/3). Charlotte Collegiate Football Inc., the "nonprofit that manages the ACC championship, reported revenue of $5.4 million for the 2010 game, the first to be played" in Charlotte. Swofford: "The growth has been very good over the last couple of years in terms of the advance ticket sales. That tells a lot in terms of the support from the local community, and we're really pleased with that" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 12/2). Saturday's ACC championship game drew  a "record crowd of 73,675" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 12/4). The CHARLOTTE OBSERVER's Scott wrote the ACC "got it right with its pregame fanfest outside the stadium." It "certainly went better than last year, when the game was marred by rain and sleet" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 12/4).

SAYING THANKS: In a letter addressed to ACC fans, Swofford extended his "appreciation to the City of Charlotte following a widely successful 2011 Dr Pepper ACC Football Championship Game." The letter read in part, "As a league, we appreciate the enthusiasm with which the Charlotte community embraced not only the game, but our surrounding events. You provided terrific hospitality and a first-class event for our players, coaches and institutions" (CHARLOTTEOBSERVER.com, 12/4). Charlotte Collegiate Football ran a full-page ad in the Charlotte Observer's sports section yesterday thanking the ACC, its fans and its sponsors for the championship game (THE DAILY).
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