The Washington Post

ACC championship game to remain in Charlotte for at least two more years

The ACC championship game will remain in Charlotte for at least the next two years, ACC Commissioner John Swofford announced Friday. This is the seventh year the league has held a football championship game, and the matchup between Virginia Tech and Clemson on Saturday night will be the second-straight season it has been held in Charlotte.

Swofford said the league did not accept bids from other cities and that the vote to keep the game in Charlotte was unanimous among ACC athletic directors because of how successful its partnership with the city has been the past two years.

Saturday’s game at Bank of American Stadium has been sold out for three weeks now. Last year, the game was expected to be a sellout until poor game day weather scared some fans away. It’s a notable accomplishment considering 2010 was the first time since the ACC began holding a championship game in 2005 that fewer than 4,000 tickets went unsold.

“We’ve been so pleased with what we have found here with last year’s game and then continuing into this year’s game, and the fact that this year’s game is sold out, and the sense of cooperation and the momentum that we have found here,” Swofford said. “We’ve found something that certainly in its first two years has worked extraordinarily well for us, and we want to continue that.”

The ACC’s championship game had previously been held in Tampa, Fla., and Jacksonville, Fla. Swofford added, though, that no decision has been made on where to hold the game beyond the 2013 season.

It seems, however, the league may have a permanent home in Charlotte since eight ACC schools are within 300 miles, making it easy for their fan bases to travel to the game on short notice.

“We prefer a quality neutral site where the game can be consistently successful year in and year out, and hopefully we have found that here in Charlotte,” Swofford said.

Mark Giannotto is a Montgomery County native who covers high school sports for The Washington Post. He previously covered Virginia and Virginia Tech football for five years.


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