(4) Alabama vs. (14) VA. Tech in Chick-fil-A College Kickoff!
Courtesy of the Chick-fil-A Bowl
May 21, 2009
ATLANTA, Ga. - ESPN has chosen to make the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game
its prime time ABC national broadcast on the opening weekend of the
2009 college football season Chick-fil-A Bowl and ESPN officials
The Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game, a Chick-fil-A Bowl event, will match
projected preseason top-10-ranked powers Alabama and Virginia Tech
on Sept. 5 at 8 p.m. (EDT) in the Georgia Dome.
"When you can match two top-10 teams in the first week, it really
does start to look like a BCS-style game to open the season," said
Gary Stokan, Chick-fil-A Bowl president and CEO. "We think the
Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game is the biggest game out there and we're
proud of our partnership with ESPN and that ABC will be broadcasting
the game in its prime time slot."
Last year's season-opening Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game featured No. 9
Clemson against No. 24 Alabama in a sold-out game that was also
nationally broadcast by ABC. The match-up of two top-25 teams drew
on-site appearances by ESPN's College GameDay and College Football
Live! shows and delivered more than 22,000 fans for a pre-game fan
experience in Atlanta's Centennial Olympic Park.
The 2008 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game broadcast window delivered a
television rating of 3.6, equaling more than four million viewing
"After a fabulous inaugural Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game we're excited to
be back in the great city of Atlanta for the start of the fourth
season of Saturday Night Football on ABC," said Dave Brown, ESPN
vice president, programming and acquisitions. "With a match-up of
two teams expected to be in the pre-season top 10, the Chick-fil-A
Kickoff Game has quickly developed into a cornerstone of the opening
weekend of college football. We thank the Chick fil-A Bowl and
Chick-fil-A and especially Virginia Tech and Alabama for making
the game possible and we look forward to a great game."
The Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game - billed as the "Daytona 500 of college
football" - was created by the Chick-fil-A Bowl and ESPN, as a
BCS-type game to kick off the season matching two elite football
programs on the first Saturday of every season.
Alabama defeated Clemson in the inaugural Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game
34-10, using the game to help propel them to a No. 1 national ranking
and an eventual BCS bowl berth.
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 42nd year, the Chick-fil-A Bowl
has established itself as one of the nation's elite bowl games with a
string of 12 consecutive sellouts and has earned a reputation as one
of the most competitive bowls in the nation. Ten of the last 17 games
have been decided by a touchdown or less. The Chick-fil-A Bowl has
disbursed more than $90 million in team payouts over its 41-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 2007 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 Sept. 5.