ACC title game staying in Charlotte
Charlotte's Bank of America Stadium signed a six-year extension to host the ACC championship through 2019.
Charlotte has hosted the conference title game since 2010.
In four years in Charlotte, the game has averaged nearly 70,000 fans, including two sellouts. The ACC's title-game average attendance is second only to the SEC's.
ACC commissioner John Swofford made the announcement at a news conference Monday at Bank of America Stadium, home of the Carolina Panthers, calling it "an easy decision."
"There is no question that Charlotte has supported this game more than any place we've been," Swofford said.
Swofford said Charlotte has provided a great footprint for the game because of its centralized location and because of the Panthers' facility, which is considered one of the NFL's top venues and is undergoing a $112.4 million renovation.
"We have a facility of this caliber that is being modernized," Swofford said. "You can stay and eat, party and walk to the game, and then go back and do it all over again. Couple that with the support we have received and it became a pretty easy decision."
The six-year deal coincides with the extension of the Belk Bowl, the annual game played in late December in Charlotte that also has a deal running through the 2019 season.
Charlotte Sports Foundation executive director Will Webb said he's pleased with the six-year agreement and wants to keep the game in Charlotte longer.
"There won't be a better venue for a conference to play a championship than here in Charlotte," Webb said.
Webb said the Charlotte Sports Foundation is considering selling "collegiate seat licenses," which would allow fans to purchase tickets to both games.
Swofford said the conference only briefly considered playing the game at the home site of the conference's top team.
"First of all, from a competitive standpoint, our coaches and teams prefer a neutral site," Swofford said. "They feel that is best for a championship game. But the success it has had in Charlotte over the last four years meant that that conversation didn't grow legs, so to be speak."
Jacksonville, Fla. (2005-07), and Tampa, Fla. (2008-09) hosted the first five ACC championships.
Information from ESPN's Brett McMurphy and The Associated Press was used in this report.
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