“In 216 days, the College Football Playoff National Championship will be played in Atlanta.”
Those words, spoken by Dan Corso, President of the Atlanta Sports Council & Senior VP of the Metro Atlanta Chamber, garnered a gasp and murmurs throughout 5 Seasons Brewery Westside, as the Atlanta Football Host Committee and College Football Playoff Committee hosted a “Championship Mixer” to mark the countdown to January’s College Football Playoff National Championship.
It wasn’t that the crowd in attendance didn’t know that college football’s big game was coming this season, it just drove home the point that we are in the 4th quarter and the two-minute warning is approaching when it comes to this big game.
This also starts a busy stretch when it comes to major sporting events in Atlanta. A Super Bowl, and a Final Four will follow in the following years, so the mixer also served as an update on where organizing and planning stands as we approach the midpoint of 2017.
Members of the media were on hand, along with representatives of ESPN that were doing a site visit and other members of the Sports Council.
CFP chief operating officer, Michael Kelly, took the lead in addressing the attendees and explaining that they are in crunch time. A major concert announcement will be forthcoming as will a timeline of the other events happening alongside the football game. But make no mistake, football is the reason everything is happening.
“For the first time, the national champion will be crowned here in a city that is synonymous with college football,” Kelly said. “It’s very special in that regard, so we’re excited about that.”
The championship game will be played Jan. 8, a Monday night, in Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Between the cold drinks, food and music at the mixer, there was an excitement about Atlanta in the air. Over the years, Atlanta has hosted as many major sporting events as a city could hold, and Corso says the plan is to be a player each time a major sports event comes up for bid.
Formed in 2016, the Atlanta Football Host Committee (AFHC) serves as an extension of the College Football Playoff administration in the local community. The organization is responsible for assisting with the planning and production of the 2018 College Football Playoff National Championship and accompanying fan events. The AFHC is comprised of local leaders in business, sports and tourism and their mission is to host a one-of-a-kind championship experience for the student-athletes, university representatives, media and college football fans.
A charitable component was also again mentioned. The Atlanta Football Host Committee and the College Football Playoff (CFP) Foundation have partnered to fund Atlanta’s first Creative Learning Systems SmartLab through the CFP Foundation’s Extra Yard for Teachers platform. More donations are to come with the game, but this he facility will allow Scott Elementary educators to lead their classrooms in the exploration of a wide range of applied technologies, including robotics, software engineering, mechanics and structures, computer graphics, digital media arts and more.
Extra Yard for Teachers aims to elevate the teaching profession by inspiring and empowering quality teachers. In its first three years, the CFP Foundation impacted 97,407 teachers through the Extra Yard for Teachers platform as well as over three million students in 12,902 schools across the country. The CFP Foundation and its partners have been responsible for $11.8 million in support to causes impacting the teaching profession.
More announcements to come in the months ahead. For complete details on these events, please see attachment or visit www.ATLChampGame.com.