ATLANTA, GA – AMB Sports & Entertainment (AMBSE) along with the Southeastern Conference (SEC) and the Georgia World Congress Center Authority (GWCCA) today announced an agreement to host the SEC Football Championship Game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium through 2026. The agreement allows the SEC the option of adding up to two successive five-year extensions.
The Georgia Dome has hosted the SEC Championship Game for 21 years beginning in 1994, with capacity crowds in the last 19 consecutive years. By the end of the new agreement, including options, the Championship will have been played in Atlanta for a total of 43 years.
“Atlanta has served as an outstanding host for the SEC Football Championship Game for more than two decades and has been the perfect venue for one of the premier events in college sports,” said SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey. “We look forward to continuing a very positive relationship with Mercedes-Benz Stadium and the Georgia World Congress Center as the home of our football championship.”
The SEC Football Championship joins a growing list of events that will be hosted in Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The NCAA Men’s Final Four will play in the stadium in 2020, and the stadium will host the annual Celebration Bowl, a championship game for the Mid-Eastern and Southwestern conferences of the Historically Black Colleges and Universities beginning in 2017. Atlanta is currently bidding on the 2018 National College Football Playoff Championship Game, which will be awarded later this year, and is a finalist for the 2019 or 2020 NFL Super Bowl. Selections for the Super Bowl games will be announced in May 2016.
“We are tremendously excited to continue the SEC legacy in Atlanta in the years to come,” said Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta United Owner Arthur Blank. “The SEC Football Championship Game is a premier sporting event and is representative of the marquee events we will host at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. We look forward to working with the SEC toward their goal of producing national championship winners.
As reported by the GWCCA, the economic impact of the SEC Football Championship Game to the State of Georgia since 1999 is estimated at more than one billion dollars.
“The announcement made today is a reaffirmation of the strong relationship the Georgia World Congress Center Authority team has with the Southeastern Conference,” said GWCCA Executive Director Frank Poe. “The Authority, through the Georgia Dome, has been a proud partner in the growth and development of the nation’s premier collegiate football championship. We look forward to continuing that relationship as the SEC plays its final championship game in the Georgia Dome and moves into Mercedes Benz Stadium.”
The press conference announcing the new 10-year agreement between Mercedes-Benz Stadium and the SEC was attended by Georgia Department of Economic Development Commissioner Chris Carr and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed.
“The City of Atlanta is proud to be the home of the SEC Championship for the next ten years,” said Mayor Kasim Reed. “Atlanta is the premier city for these prestigious events because we have a verifiable track record of success. With this announcement, Atlanta will remain where fans from across the Southeast come to experience our world-class hospitality.”