ATLANTA (Aug. 2, 2017) – ESPN’s College GameDay Built by The Home Depot – college football’s longest-running and most-celebrated pregame show – is set to open the 2017 season at this year’s Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game between Florida State and Alabama in what in what could be the Greatest Opener of All Time (GOAT).
The weekly show airs from 9 a.m.-noon ET on ESPN and will be broadcasted live from International Plaza, outside of the new, state-of-the-art Mercedes-Benz Stadium, ahead of what will be the first college football game ever played in the venue. This will mark the fourth time College GameDay has opened the season from Atlanta for the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game, with previous appearances in 2008, 2009 and 2010.
“College GameDay is synonymous with the biggest games of the year,” said Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl CEO & President Gary Stokan. “With this game shaping up to be the Greatest Opener of All Time, we welcome GameDay back to Atlanta. It’s going to be an epic celebration of college football!”
“College GameDay has become a Saturday morning tradition for college football fans around the country,” said Percy Vaughn, Peach Bowl, Inc. chairman. “It’s only fitting that College GameDay be here for the first-ever college football game in the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium to showcase an incredible weekend of two great Chick-fil-A Kickoff Games.”
The Florida State-Alabama Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game could be the Greatest Opener of All Time (GOAT), with early projections indicating that this game may be a matchup of the two highest-ranked teams to ever play on opening weekend in 150 years of college football. This year’s matchup between Florida State and Alabama will also represent five of college football’s last eight national champions, and the two winningest programs since 2010.
The Florida State-Alabama Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game will kick off at 8 p.m. ET, Saturday, Sept. 2 and be nationally telecast by ABC. The teams have met four times dating back to 1965, with the most recent meeting in 2007 resulting in a 21-14 Seminole win. The Crimson Tide holds a 2-1-1 series advantage over the Seminoles.
This will be Alabama’s fifth appearance in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game, where the Crimson Tide currently hold a 4-0 record. It will be the first time Florida State has opened the season in Atlanta. Both teams currently have an impressive streak of consecutive season opening wins with Alabama having won its past 15 season openers, while Florida State has won its past six.
The Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game will close out the weekend with another great matchup in prime time on Monday night when Tennessee and Georgia Tech renew an old rivalry for the first time since 1987.
The nation’s longest-running kickoff game, the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game has now sold out nine of its 12 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 game in 2008.
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.
ABOUT THE CHICK-FIL-A KICKOFF GAME
Created in 2008 by Peach Bowl, Inc., the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game is the preeminent bowl-style, neutral-site game featuring two elite football programs and has been nationally televised on the first Saturday of the college football season since its inception. The game has hosted teams with national rankings of No. 1, 2, 5 (twice), 6, 7, 9, 14, 16, 18 (twice), 19, 22, 24 (twice) and 25 (twice). The Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game boasts an average attendance of 67,645, has been watched on television by 47.4 million viewers, and has distributed $51.9 million in total team payouts. Since its inception in 2008, the Chick-fil-A Kickoff game has featured seven national coaches of the year, 19 players who were recipients of national awards during their collegiate careers and a total of 48 first-round NFL Draft picks. For more information, visit www.Chick-fil-AKickoffGame.com.