The ACC title game has decided to return to the city that hosted the first ACC championship game and the inaugural ACC championship. And don't confuse the two.
Conference couldn't resist the sights of Jacksonville.
But don't get the idea that the contract is, like, written in ink or anything:
The Gator Bowl Association, which has staged the event for two years, and the ACC came to an agreement Tuesday to extend their agreement for the 2007 game, but neither side made any guarantees whether Jacksonville will host the game beyond this year.
"We are extremely pleased that the city of Jacksonville will continue to be the host city for the 2007 ACC football championship game," said GBA president Rick Catlett. "The city and the Gator Bowl Association enjoy a wonderful partnership with [ACC] commissioner John Swofford and the Atlantic Coast Conference. We look forward to working together to ensure the 2007 ACC football championship game is a success and surpasses our expectations."
The ACC had a two-year option to return the game to Jacksonville, but after the Wake Forest-Georgia Tech ACC Championship game last December sold only 62,850 tickets and had no more than 50,000 fans show up for the game, Swofford and the GBA agreed it was best to give Jacksonville no more than a one-year extension. The GBA lost more than $1 million on the 2006 championship game after the first ACC title game between Florida State and Virginia Tech attracted nearly 73,000 fans and was at least a break-even proposition for the GBA.
Game was less successful than this.
Imagine that. Wake Forest-Georgia Tech was outsold by Florida State-Virginia Tech. I can't imagine why that happened. Unless you count the fact that Florida State and Virginia Tech have ... what do you call them ... oh, yeah, fan bases.
Jacksonville's ability to host the ACC title game beyond this year will be contingent on the event being able to produce something close to a sellout in the Dec. 1 game, which has no set starting time.
Mayor John Peyton is confident the game can rebound after the disappointing attendance at the Georgia Tech-Wake Forest championship game.
"Jacksonville has a rich sports history serving as host for a vast array of collegiate and professional sporting events," Peyton said in a released statement. "We are thrilled to continue this tradition by hosting the ACC Championship game again this year. We look forward to welcoming players and fans to our great city."
"Besides," Peyton added, "how often do you really think Chan Gailey and Wake Forest can get to the championship game? Can't happen two years in a row. Right?"