Charlotte craves title game

Staff writerOctober 22, 2009 

— It wasn't hard to spot the theme Wednesday when local officials announced the launch date for ticket sales to the 2010 ACC football championship game in Charlotte.

Turn a two-year commitment from the ACC to Charlotte into a long-term home for the league's still-young football championship game.

The game, which will be held in Tampa, Fla., this year, will be played for the first time at Bank of America Stadium on Dec. 4, 2010. Still more than a year away from the first title game here, ACC commissioner John Swofford didn't tamp down the optimistic talk from local leaders.

"I don't think it's getting the cart ahead of the horse," Swofford said. "We'll see how it goes. In a perfect world, we'd like to find a home for the championship game and build on it. ... We're here for two years. We'd like nothing better than to be here for a lot longer."

In announcing former mayor Harvey Gantt and retired bank executive Hugh McColl as honorary co-chairpersons for the inaugural event, officials also launched a Web site -- www.accfootballcharlotte .com -- that includes ticket information and other material.

Ticket packages will go on sale Feb. 1 through the Web site. Individual tickets will be available Feb. 15 through Ticketmaster.

Pre-registration for the tickets can be done on the new Web site.

Upper-level tickets will be $25 and $40, and lower-level tickets will sell for $70 and $90. Club-level tickets will cost $150 and $175 and are available only through ticket packages.

Approximately 50,000 tickets will be made available with more than 20,000 to be made available to the competing schools and through the league.

The game was played in Jacksonville, Fla., its first three years and will complete a two-year commitment to Tampa this year. Attendance has declined in each of the four years.

The inaugural championship game in 2005 between Florida State and Virginia Tech drew 72,749. Last year, 53,927 tickets were sold to the Virginia Tech-Boston College game in Tampa, but several thousand tickets went unused.

Swofford said Charlotte has the advantage of being near the geographic center of the ACC footprint.

rgreenjr@charlotteobserver.com or 704-358-5118

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