Feb. 16, 2012
ATLANTA, Ga -- The University of Tennessee announced today that the Vols will open the 2012 football season at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game against North Carolina State on Friday, August 31.
The game will be televised on ESPNU and is the first regular-season Friday game for Tennessee since Sept. 29, 1939 that was also against North Carolina State. Tennessee has split its two all-time matchups with the Wolfpack, a 16-0 loss in 1911 along with a 13-0 win in the 1939 game, both in Raleigh.
"We look forward to being a part of the Chick-fil-A Kickoff weekend in Atlanta," said Dave Hart, Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics of the University of Tennessee. "The exposure afforded our university and football program through our participation in this season-opening event is very significant."
The last Friday night game of any variety for Tennessee was also in Atlanta, against Clemson on Jan. 2, 2004 in the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl. The last game in Atlanta for Tennessee was the Chick-fil-A Bowl on Dec. 31, 2009 vs. Virginia Tech. The Friday evening game in Atlanta also represents the first weekday regular-season game for Tennessee since the season opener in 2008 against UCLA at the Rose Bowl, which took place on a Monday.
All Tennessee Fund donors and season ticket holder will have the opportunity to request and purchase tickets from UT for the game. Information on requesting tickets will be available in March and requests will be filled in donor rank order. If donors and season ticket holders do not purchase all available tickets, the remaining quantity will be made available for public purchase from UT during the summer.
Here is the release from the Chick-Fil-A Kickoff Game
ATLANTA (Feb. 16, 2012) - The Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game will open the 2012 college football season with the first-ever double hosting of marquee, BCS-style games on back-to-back days in the same venue.
The first game will feature NC State versus Tennessee on Friday, Aug. 31. The second game will pit Auburn against Clemson on Saturday, Sept. 1.
The NC State-Tennessee game will be telecast Aug. 31 on ESPNU and the Auburn-Clemson game will be telecast Sept. 1 on ABC or ESPN. Game times are yet to be determined.
This marks the first time in college football history where two games of this magnitude have been hosted in the same facility, by the same organizer on consecutive days.
Between the two games, more than 145,000 fans are expected to be in Atlanta to celebrate the opening of the 2012 season and be a part of history. All four teams and their fans will be in Atlanta at the same time, creating a college football celebration of epic proportions. The pair of Chick-fil-A Kickoff Games is expected to generate more than $60 million in economic impact.
"When we created the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game with ESPN, our goal was to kick off the season in a special and memorable way," said Gary Stokan, Chick-fil-A Bowl president and CEO. "With these two games, and these four teams and their fan bases, this is going to be a colossal weekend of football in Atlanta - like nothing you have ever seen before."
Following the 2005 season, Atlanta hosted both the Chick-fil-A Bowl and the Sugar Bowl over four days following the Sugar Bowl's displacement from New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. But the games were separated by two full days and run by different organizations. The Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game will host two games of the same magnitude in a 48-hour period, and both will be run by the Chick-fil-A Bowl.
In Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game style, both games will include their own tailgate and cook-off events as well as their own FanZone events to keep fans entertained over the 48 hours of football frenzy.
"NC State fans love Atlanta and participating in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game is a particularly exciting way to kick off our 2012 season," said Debbie Yow, NC State director of athletics. "We think there will be a lot of State red there to cheer on our team."
"We look forward to being a part of the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game weekend in Atlanta," said Dave Hart, Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics of the University of Tennessee. "The exposure afforded our university and football program through our participation in this season-opening event is very significant."
"We could not be more excited to open our season against Clemson in the Georgia Dome. This will be a great opportunity for our student-athletes and our fans to enjoy a highly competitive game in a great venue close to home," said Jay Jacobs, Auburn athletics director. "The Chick-fil-A Kickoff game has come to signify the start of the college football season, and this year will be even more exciting with a double-header in Atlanta."
"The Clemson vs. Auburn game at the Georgia Dome will be one of the national highlights of the opening weekend of college football," said Terry Don Phillips, Clemson athletics director. "We have had two great games with Auburn the last two years and we are sure this third game also will be played at a high level."
All tickets to both games will be sold through the university ticket offices. Tickets are expected to go on sale in March. No tickets will be available through the Chick-fil-A Bowl office.
The Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game was created by the Chick-fil-A Bowl in partnership with ESPN, as a BCS-style game to kick off the season matching two elite football programs on the first Saturday of every season.
For more information, visit Chick-fil-AKickoffGame.com.
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 45th year, the Chick-fil-A Bowl has established itself as one of the nation's elite bowl games with a string of 15 consecutive sellouts and has earned a reputation as one of the most competitive bowls in the nation. Fifty-five percent of its games have been decided by a touchdown or less. The Chick-fil-A Bowl has disbursed more than $110 million in team payouts over its 44-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 $13 million to organizations in need since 2002. Other events under the Chick-fil-A Bowl brand include the Chick-fil-A Bowl Challenge charity golf tournament each spring and the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game season-opening game over Labor Day weekend.