WVU, Tennessee Open 2018 in Charlotte

The Charlotte Sports Foundation West Virginia and Tennessee will open their 2018 football schedules with a head-to-head meeting in Charlotte.

The Volunteers, from the Southeastern Conference, will face off against the Mountaineers, from the Big 12 Conference, on September 1, 2018 at Bank of America Stadium. The kickoff time and ticket information will be announced at a later date.

“We are very excited to announce that the University of Tennessee and West Virginia University will be playing in Charlotte to kickoff the 2018 college football season,” said Will Webb, Executive Director of the Charlotte Sports Foundation. “This will be a tremendous game featuring the SEC and Big 12. Both Tennessee and West Virginia have very active, supportive fan bases. And Charlotte is a premier location between the two schools. This game offers local, regional and national attraction. We are proud to bring this marquee matchup to the Queen City and look forward to hosting the Volunteer and Mountaineer teams and fans in Charlotte.”

It will mark the first game for Tennessee in Charlotte. It also will be the Volunteers' third neutral-site game in four years. Tennessee opens the 2015 season at LP Field in Nashville against UAB and will meet Virginia Tech at Bristol Motor Speedway in 2016. West Virginia has gone 1-1 in bowl games at Bank of America Stadium and opened the 1999 season against East Carolina in the Queen City.

"We are excited to formally announce our game with West Virginia in Charlotte, North Carolina in 2018," said Dave Hart, Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics at Tennessee. "Will Webb and his staff manage a first-class operation. Playing in this venue and in a key recruiting footprint was very appealing to us. The respective fan bases will create an electric atmosphere."

It will be the first game between the two storied programs. WVU, the 14th-winningest program of all-time, is 14-18-1 all-time against SEC foes. Former Mountaineer assistant Butch Jones is the head coach of the Volunteers.

"The game in Charlotte presents a tremendous opportunity for our football program to play against a quality opponent in West Virginia in a first-class NFL venue," Jones said. "The Charlotte area is in close proximity to many of our fans, and the state of North Carolina is a key component in our recruiting efforts. We very much look forward to such a unique opportunity for our student-athletes and our program."

“This matchup against Tennessee is very attractive, featuring a quality opponent from a highly visible conference at a NFL Stadium,” said Oliver Luck, WVU Director of Athletics. “We have a lot of fans and alumni living in the Charlotte area, and this is another outstanding game in close proximity that our fans can travel to easily. We never have played Tennessee before in football and both states are similar in makeup, so it’s time for us to meet on the football field.”

“Our players enjoy playing in NFL Stadiums and this a great matchup for our program,” said WVU head football coach Dana Holgorsen. “We recruit the state of North Carolina and Charlotte is a strong football area. Our fans have always supported us strongly in previous games in Charlotte and I think this is a matchup that they will really enjoy.”

This is the second regular season college football game that CSF has scheduled for Charlotte’s Bank of America Stadium. Previously announced, the University of North Carolina will face the University of South Carolina in September, 2015.

“The Charlotte Sports Foundation continues its mission of attracting major sporting events that enhance the quality of life in Charlotte,” stated Johnny Harris, Board Chairman of the Charlotte Sport Foundation. “We greatly appreciate the efforts that Tennessee and West Virginia have put forth to make this game happen. We look forward to thousands of Volunteers and Mountaineers visiting our great City in 2018.”

The Charlotte Sports Foundation, a non-profit organization, runs the Belk Bowl and serves as the local organizing committee for the Dr Pepper ACC Football Championship Game. The foundation’s mission is to create, recruit and execute high-caliber athletic events. In addition to adding new highly visible participatory events and elevating existing ones, the foundation also works to secure additional professional, collegiate and amateur events that will enrich Charlotte’s sports landscape. The Charlotte Sports Foundation’s mission is to create, recruit and execute high-caliber athletic events on par with its existing ones, including the Irish Creek Collegiate, the Belk Bowl and the Dr Pepper ACC Football Championship Game. The foundation works to secure additional professional, collegiate and amateur events that will enrich Charlotte’s sports landscape. The foundation also aims to add new highly visible participatory events and elevate existing ones, such as the Race to the Top.

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