ATLANTA (Sept. 7, 2017) – With the eyes of the nation on Atlanta over college football’s opening weekend, two Chick-fil-A Kickoff Games proved to be a powerful and record-setting combination to open the 2017 season in grand fashion.
Between Saturday’s matchup of (1) Alabama and (3) Florida State – the Greatest Opener of All Time – and the double overtime thriller between (25) Tennessee and Georgia Tech, there were 151,437 fans who were a part of the celebration of the two games that officially opened the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Add to that an appearance of ESPN’s College GameDay and a combined television audience of 17.4 million viewers, and you have what pretty much became the center of the college football universe over Labor Day weekend in Atlanta.
“This is exactly why we created the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game to host a signature opening to kick off the college football season,” said Gary Stokan, CEO and president of Peach Bowl, Inc. “Two sold out games with four of the best teams and fan bases in the country, four incredible coaches, and all in the best stadium in the world. It was truly special.”
On the field, the two games combined to break or tie 24 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game records including:
|Attendance:||76,330||(Florida State vs. Alabama)|
|Most points scored:||83||(Tennessee vs. Georgia Tech)|
|Most rushing yards:||683||(Tennessee vs. Georgia Tech)|
|Total offense:||1,024 yards||(Tennessee vs. Georgia Tech)|
|Most rushing yards:||535||(Georgia Tech)|
|Most rushing TDs:||6||(Georgia Tech)|
|Most offensive plays:||96||(Georgia Tech)|
|Total offense:||655||(Georgia Tech)|
|Most points scored:||30||(T. Marshall, Georgia Tech)|
|Most touchdowns scored:||5||(T. Marshall, Georgia Tech)|
|Longest punt (tie):||70 yards||(T. Daniel, Tennessee)|
Off the field, the two Chick-fil-A Kickoff Games combined to pay out to the participating teams more than $15.7 million. Peach Bowl, Inc. also contributed an additional $100,000 to help aid the victims of Hurricane Harvey in Texas.
“This was an epic celebration of college football and an incredible way to cap off the 10th anniversary year of the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game,” said Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Chairman Percy Vaughn. “With more games like these on the horizon and our new home venue of Mercedes-Benz Stadium, we’re really looking forward to what the next 10 years will bring.”
Past and Future Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game match-ups include:
|2008||(9) Clemson vs. (24) Alabama||Alabama 34-10|
|2009||(5) Alabama vs. (7) Virginia Tech||Alabama 34-24|
|2010||(16) LSU vs. (18) North Carolina||LSU 30-24|
|2011||(5) Boise State vs. (19) Georgia||Boise State 35-21|
|2012||(25) NC State vs. Tennessee||Tennessee 35-21|
|2012||(14) Clemson vs. (24) Auburn||Clemson 26-19|
|2013||(1) Alabama vs. Virginia Tech||Alabama 35-10|
|2014||(18) Ole Miss vs. Boise State||Ole Miss 35-13|
|2014||(2) Alabama vs. West Virginia||Alabama 33-23|
|2015||(25) Louisville vs. (6) Auburn||Auburn 31-24|
|2016||(18) Georgia vs. (22) North Carolina||Georgia 33-24|
|2017||Alabama vs. Florida State||Alabama 24-7|
|2017||Georgia Tech vs. Tennessee||Tennessee 42-41|
|2018||Washington vs. Auburn|
|2019||Alabama vs. Duke|
|2020||West Virginia vs. Florida State|
|2021||Alabama vs. Miami|
For more information, visit Chick-fil-AKickoffGame.com.
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 (twice), 2, 3, 5 (twice), 6, 7, 9, 14, 16, 18 (twice), 19, 22, 24 (twice) and 25 (three times). The Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game boasts an average attendance of 68,887, has been watched on television by more than 60 million viewers, and has distributed $67.46 million in total team payouts. Since its inception in 2008, the Chick-fil-A Kickoff game has featured nine 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.