It was announced on Monday morning that Georgia Tech's 2017 football season will open up against the Tennessee Volunteers on Labor Day night -- Monday, September 4 -- in the brand-new stadium still under construction by the Atlanta Falcons. It will be a prime-time match up that will be televised nationally on ESPN. The game will be one of the first college games played in New Atlanta Stadium, although Florida State will meet Alabama in the stadium two days prior.
It will be the first game between the former SEC rivals in 30 years -- the teams last met in 1987 in Knoxville. The game will be Tennessee's second appearance in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff game after their debut in 2012, and it will be the first appearance for Georgia Tech in the event. It will be the third time in the game's history that there have been two games on the opening weekend, joining 2012 and 2014. The game has averaged over 66,000 fans per game, and the payout averages $4.3 million per team -- both of which are better than a considerable number of bowl games.
In an official statement, Coach Paul Johnson said, "We're excited to have the opportunity to play in one of the first games at the Atlanta Falcons' new stadium. Playing an SEC team like Tennessee in the non-conference is important for us and we're grateful for the opportunity to play them in our backyard."
The addition of Tennessee to the schedule makes for a pretty impressive 2017 out-of-conference lineup for Georgia Tech, as the Volunteers are added to a slate that already included a trip to Orlando to face UCF, as well as the annual game against rivals Georgia. The prime-time matchup will be huge, with all of the attention centered on the Yellow Jackets on a national stage.
Excited to have the matchup officially announced? Planning on being there for the game? Happy they're playing the game?