The University of Alabama’s first football game of the 2017 season is officially sold out.
UA will meet Florida State at 7 p.m. CT on Sept. 2 in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game. The match-up will be the first college football game played at the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.
Various preseason polls have ranked the Crimson Tide and the Seminoles as high as No. 1 and neither team is ranked lower than No. 4.
“We’re calling this game the GOAT, the Greatest Opener of All Time, because of the projected rankings, the dominance of these two programs and the fact that this is the toughest ticket I have seen in my 20 years in college football,” said Gary Stokan CEO and president of Peach Bowl Inc., in a news release.
“To possibly have No. 1 against No. 2 in the first game of the season is a credit to the programs that (UA coach) Nick Saban and (FSU coach) Jimbo Fisher have built and their willingness to play this game shows their desire to compete at the highest level,” Stokan said
“We knew this was going to be a special game, but I’m not sure we fully expected it to reach historic levels like this,” said Percy Vaughn, chairman of the Peach Bowl.
Fans who don’t want to pay for high-priced tickets can still watch the game on ABC, which is televising the game nationally.
The nation’s longest-running kickoff game, the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game has now sold out nine of its 12 match-ups. The game averages 67,645 fans — higher than the attendance of 35 bowl games last year — and has an average payout of $4.7 million, which is higher than 27 bowl games last year. Television viewership is also traditionally strong, with more than 47.4 million viewers tuning in to the series since its inaugural game in 2008.
The teams will battle for The Old Leather Helmet Trophy. Traditionally, winners of The Old Leather Helmet don the helmet on the field after the game, starting with the head coach and then rotating from player to player as the team celebrates its victory.