Chick-fil-A Off To A Good Start

Chick-fil-A, sponsor of the Kickoff Game in Atlanta's Georgia Dome on September 5, has something to crow about. Several things, in fact, as the Alabama Crimson Tide and Virginia Tech Hokies prepare to begin practice for the 2009 season.

Both Alabama and Virginia Tech are expected to be ranked in the nation's top ten when game kicks off at 8 p.m. EDT (7 p.m. central time) on ABC television. This will be the first time two top ten teams have met in an opening game since 2003 when USC (ranked number 8) took on Auburn (ranked fifth) in what would be a 23-0 rout for the Trojans at Auburn.

This will be Alabama's second consecutive appearance in the game, which features the two highest ranked teams possible at a neutral site on opening weekend. Last year Bama was ranked 24th prior to the game and upset ninth-ranked Clemson, 34-10. That win was considered crucial in Alabama's rise to a number one national ranking and undefeated regular season. The Crimson Tide went 12-2 last year.

This year, the game sold out more than nine weeks prior to game day with each team selling its allotment of 32,500 tickets. There was no public sale.

As of last week, Chick-fil-A said the game was the third-highest grossing game of the 2009 season on StubHub, a national ticket re-selling Web site. Southern Cal vs. Ohio State and BYU vs. Oklahoma were one-two.

In number of tickets sold, the Alabama-Virginia Tech game was second to the BYU-OU game.

The average selling price is $246 per ticket.

There are a number of events for fans planned in conjunction with the game. On Friday night, September 4, there will be a Fan Night at the Georgia Aquarium. On Saturday, game day, there will be a tailgating competition at Centiennial Olympic Park and a Fan Zone and team parties at the Georgia World Congress Center.

Last year's game attracted some four million households on television, earning a 3.6 rating for ABC.

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