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[via press release from The Atlantic Coast Conference]

Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game to Air Nationally on ABC in Third Straight Season Opener

ACC team once again featured in key matchup on the first Saturday of the season.

March 26, 2010

ATLANTA (www.chick-fil-akickoffgame.com) - For a third consecutive season, ESPN has chosen to make the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game its prime time ABC national broadcast highlighting the opening weekend of the 2010 college football season Chick-fil-A Bowl and ESPN officials announced today.

The Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game, a Chick-fil-A Bowl event, will match projected preseason top-25-ranked powers LSU and North Carolina on Sept. 4 at 8 p.m. (ET) in the Georgia Dome. Each of the first three match-ups has included teams nationally ranked in the top 25.

"Having two top-25 teams who are expected to be contenders for their respective conference championships will certainly deliver a BCS-type atmosphere in Atlanta," said Gary Stokan, Chick-fil-A Bowl president and CEO. "There's no doubt this is a top game of the opening weekend and we're thrilled that ABC will deliver the Tigers and Tar Heels to a national audience."

The 2009 season-opening Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game featured two top-10 teams, Alabama and Virginia Tech, in a sold-out game that was also nationally broadcast on ABC. The match-up drew a second consecutive on-site appearance by ESPN's College GameDay show and delivered more than 25,000 fans for its pre-game fan activities.

The No. 5 Alabama vs. No. 7 Virginia Tech game earned a 4.2 rating on ABC and saw more than 5.5 million viewers tune in to the broadcast.

"Projected preseason top 25 programs LSU and North Carolina meeting in Atlanta is a fabulous way to open the 2010 Saturday Night Football schedule," said Dave Brown, ESPN vice president, programming and acquisitions. "We look forward to working with the Chick-fil-A Bowl to continue the event's successful first two years."

Alabama defeated No. 9 Clemson in the inaugural Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game, using the win to help propel them to a No. 1 national ranking and an eventual BCS bowl berth. Alabama's defeat of No. 7 Virginia Tech in 2009 began their national championship season and showcased Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram on a national stage.

About the Chick-fil-A Bowl:

The Chick-fil-A Bowl is the ninth-oldest bowl game in the country and hosts the longest-running rivalry series between the ACC and SEC. Now in its 43rd year, the Chick-fil-A Bowl has established itself as one of the nation's elite bowl games with a string of 13 consecutive sellouts and has earned a reputation as one of the most competitive bowls in the nation. Ten of the last 18 games have been decided by a touchdown or less. The Chick-fil-A Bowl has disbursed more than $97 million in team payouts over its 42-year history and has increased team payout every year since 1996. The Bowl also leads all other bowl games in charitable and scholarship contributions, giving more than $1.2 million to organizations in need in 2009 alone. Other events under the Chick-fil-A Bowl brand include the Chick-fil-A Bowl Challenge head coach and celebrity golf event each April and the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game season-opening game over Labor Day weekend which will host two top-10 teams, Alabama and Virginia Tech, to open the 2009 season.

  [march 2010]  


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