Finally, it’s official. Virginia Tech will meet Alabama on September 5, 2009 in the Georgia Dome in the Chick-fil-A College Kickoff. The game will be nationally televised by either ESPN or ABC, and kickoff is scheduled for 8pm.
The game is being run by the Chick-fil-A Bowl, and the purpose is to create a bowl-like atmosphere for the city of Atlanta early in the season. Alabama played in the Kickoff earlier this season, defeating Clemson 34-10 before a national TV audience.
According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the Alabama-Clemson game generated an economic impact of $29.1 million for Atlanta. The game sold over 70,000 tickets. The Virginia Tech-Alabama game is expected to be at least as successful. Chick-fil-A Bowl president Gary Stokan estimates the financial impact will be between $30-35 million.
Alabama is 12-1 on the season. They spent much of the season at #1 in the polls, before falling to Florida in the SEC Championship Game. They will play Utah in the Sugar Bowl. Alabama is expected to be ranked very high in next year’s preseason polls, though they do lose starting quarterback John Parker Wilson.
In the last meeting between Virginia Tech and Alabama, the Hokies routed the Tide 38-7 in the inaugural Music City Bowl.
Tickets to the 2009 Chick-fil-A College Kickoff will be split evenly between Alabama and Virginia Tech.
Tech appears to have another challenging non-conference schedule next year. The Hokies will also take on Marshall and Nebraska in Lane Stadium, and they’ll travel to Greenville to play East Carolina as well.