Atlanta, GA. – Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium is set to be a beacon of college football kick-off with three games planned for the first few weeks of September. The West Virginia Mountaineers are currently slated to open their season on September 5, taking on the ACC’s Florida State Seminoles in the official Chick-Fil-A Kick-Off Classic.
West Virginia’s game is the first of the three games over the course of a week. The Georgia Bulldogs take on the Virginia Cavaliers on the 7th and the Auburn Tigers take the University of North Carolina on Saturday the 12th.
While there has been much speculation on the future of both this non-conference game and college football this fall, Peach Bowl CEO Gary Stokan assured a local Atlanta radio station this week that they are doing everything they can to make the games happen.
Stokan stated that as of this week, all three games are still on their schedule and the organization will still plan to play the games, regardless of what the conferences decide to do. The Peach Bowl CEO is giving these six teams an opportunity to guarantee themselves a non-conference matchup, and a potential extra game played/won this season, in a year where there may be a very limited amount of non-conference opportunities in general.
The general consensus is that the Big 12, SEC and ACC conferences will make a statement or decision by the end of July on what will happen for football and the remainder of the slated fall sports. It is well-known that the PAC-10 and Big 10 have both announced their sports programs to go to conference games only.
Stokan also pointed out that his organization would love to have fans in attendance, as the trio of games will bring in over $100 million in revenue for the city of Atlanta. The organization is working through contingency plans for 25, 30 and 50 percent fan capacity for each of the three games.