Charlotte’s Bank of America Stadium will remain the long-term home of the Atlantic Coast Conference’s (ACC’s) Football Championship Game after agreeing a 10-year extension to its contract.
The deal between the college sports conference and the Charlotte Sports Foundation ensures that the American football showpiece will continue at the home of NFL franchise the Carolina Panthers until 2030.
The game has been played in the city on an annual basis since 2010, with the exception of 2016 when it was relocated to Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida, as a response to Charlotte’s previous stance on transgender laws.
The ACC Football Championship Game has sold out at Bank of America Stadium four of the previous seven games, including last year’s matchup in which 74,372 watched Clemson defeat Miami 38-3.
The seven previous Championship Games in Charlotte have averaged more than 70,000 fans per game. The game’s attendance record is 74,514 for the 2015 contest between Clemson and North Carolina, which also set an attendance record for Bank of America Stadium.
Each game covered by the renewed agreement, which runs from 2021 until 2030, will take place on the first Saturday in December.
ACC commissioner John Swofford said: “Charlotte has been a tremendous home for the ACC Football Championship Game and we’re pleased to announce the Queen City as our championship destination through 2030. With the outstanding efforts by the Charlotte Sports Foundation, Carolina Panthers and city of Charlotte, our game has grown into one of the premier sporting events in the country.”
The Panthers are currently up for sale meaning that the future of Bank of America Stadium is uncertain, with any potential new owner potentially seeking to develop a new stadium. The Panthers are currently contracted to play at Bank of America Stadium until the summer of 2019.
Swofford said that should the Panthers move, the organisation’s deal with the Charlotte Sports Foundation includes a clause for the game to remain in Charlotte and potentially switch to a new facility.
Swofford added, according to the Charlotte Observer newspaper: “That’s addressed in the arrangement, in terms of the opportunity to discuss and potentially play in that new stadium. We’d probably need to sit down with that new ownership and see what that might entail, but would fully expect to be able to successfully do that. We’re very happy with this stadium, by the way.”
Image: Capt. Wayne Capps, USAFR