National Championship Success Proves Atlanta and GWCCA Campus is Epicenter of College Football

Staff Report From Metro Atlanta CEO

Thursday, February 1st, 2018

On Monday, Jan. 8, thousands of University of Georgia and University of Alabama fans swarmed to Atlanta to attend the College Football Playoff National Championship at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. It was an event of firsts and breaking records, and while the Crimson Tide prevailed as champions, the Atlanta community proved why the city is recognized as the epicenter of college football.

And a majority of the championship events and activity took place on the Georgia World Congress Center Authority’s downtown campus, the No. 1 convention, sports and entertainment destination in the world.

“Atlanta was a truly first-class setting for the national championship game,” said Bill Hancock, executive director of the College Football Playoff. “We appreciate the hard work of the Atlanta Football Host Committee members, and all their efforts that led to a wonderful experience for thousands of college football fans.”

“That game was something the Atlanta community and college football fans will cherish for years to come,” said Carl Adkins, executive director of the Atlanta Football Host Committee. “We hope that everyone in Atlanta experienced a one-of-a-kind Championship Weekend.  I speak for the entire Atlanta Football Host Committee in saying that it was a tremendous honor to host the College Football Playoff National Championship and we look forward to what the future brings for Atlanta as a destination for major sporting events.”

Some highlights from the game and the surrounding events include:

·         First presidential visit to a college football championship since 1980.

·         First-ever College Football Playoff National Championship overtime.

·         First College Football Playoff National Championship to be played in Atlanta and at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

·         First-ever ESPN Watch Party and Halftime Show (hosted at Centennial Olympic Park).

·         First-ever All-SEC College Football Playoff National Championship.

·         According to ESPN, the telecast was the network’s second highest-rated event, scoring a 16.7 overnight Nielsen rating. This is a nine percent increase from last season.

·         With a 47.8 rating, Atlanta earned its highest rating ever for a college football game on ESPN.

·         First-ever national championship game held in a LEED platinum certified stadium.

·         First walkable urban footprint to host the national championship  game and all fan events.

·         Highest-attended college football game in Atlanta with 77,430 people.

·         Over 125,000 guests attended Championship Campus events in downtown Atlanta in conjunction with the College Football Playoff National Championship.

·         Previous attendance records were broken for Playoff Fan Central (Georgia World Congress Center), Media Day and the Extra Yard 5K (GWCCA’s International Plaza).