Just when it seems like the nomadic ACC Championship Game has found a relevant home in Charlotte, Atlanta suddenly becomes an option! If Arthur Blank builds a new stadium for the Atlanta Falcons it will have a major ripple effect on both the SEC and ACC games.
For those of you not following the Falcons's stadium story, here is the quick summary. The Georgia Dome is aging and not owned by Arthur Blank. The Falcons owner wants to build a stadium in downtown Atlanta that he would own and control the ancillary revenues. Because he plans to pay for the construction, Blank wants to save a few dollars and build an open air stadium instead of a dome.
If the Falcons leave the Georgia Dome, the aging stadium's relevancy takes a big hit. Without the Falcons, it is less likely to get any needed upgrades and there is a question as to if it could even stay open.
The SEC has stated that it wants to keep its championship game indoors. If the Georgia Dome goes away, would the SEC move its championship to New Orleans? If the SEC did move their game, the ACC could easily play a few ACCCGs in Blank's new stadium. The new locale offers easy travel for most of the conference and plenty of hotel rooms. Plus -- like Jerry Jones before him -- I predict that Blank will pay top dollar to have marquee events on his field.
If the state of Georgia keeps the Dome just to keep the SEC game in town, the ACC might still be able to play their Championship in Atlanta. If the SEC is playing down the street, why can't the ACC play their game on the Friday before in Blank's new building? Or even late Saturday after the SEC game is over. If you have two stadiums there is no reason to think both games could be played on the same weekend. Plus, in this scenario, the ACC gets to be the party crashers and ensure that there is plenty of buzz and excitement during championship weekend.
The ACC has been trying to emulate the SEC's Championship for six years. But one crucial ingredient was always missing -- Atlanta. If the stadium musicals chairs causes the SEC to rethink THE ATL, I think Swofford and company would be smart to swoop in on the opening. It could offer stability and revenue and piss off a bunch of SEC fans.