College football: ACC title game moved to Orlando
The Atlantic Coast Conference will move its 2016 football championship game to Orlando, Florida, the league announced Thursday.
The 12th annual championship game was originally scheduled for Dec. 3 at Charlotte's Bank of America Stadium, but the league pulled the game from there earlier this month over North Carolina's controversial House Bill 2 law.
The game will be moved to Orlando's Camping World Stadium and will remain on the Dec. 3 date. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:45 p.m. if broadcast by ESPN or 8 p.m. if picked up by ABC.
Camping World Stadium serves as the host venue for the Citrus Bowl and the Russell Athletic Bowl. North Carolina participated in the Russell Athletic Bowl last year, losing to Baylor 49-38.
But despite that setback, UNC coach Larry Fedora said Wednesday that Orlando is a great site for football.
"Orlando is a great town," Fedora said during the weekly ACC coaches teleconference. "I thought the people there that put on the bowl did a tremendous job with all the accommodations and how they handled our team and what they did with our team. They were easy to work with. And Orlando itself, you've got so much going on in Orlando that your fans and everybody that's traveling with you, they have a wonderful time. I know my family really, really enjoyed it."
Camping World Stadium, with 65,000 seats, is considerably smaller than Charlotte's Bank of America Stadium (75,419), which has been home for the ACC championship game since 2010. A crowd of 74,514 attended last year's title game in Charlotte when Clemson downed North Carolina.
This will be the sixth time the ACC football title game has been held in the state of Florida. Jacksonville hosted the first three games (2005-07), and the event was held in Tampa in 2008-09.
But before the ACC could return to Orlando, the city and state had to rearrange some conflicting schedules with the Florida high school championships. The state high school championship games were shifted to Dec. 8-10 to accommodate the ACC's Dec. 3 title-game date.
"Orlando has been home to the Florida High School Football State Championships since 2007, and being able to keep this tradition alive and add another major sporting event is a win-win for our community," Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said in a statement. "We look forward to the continued partnership with the FHSAA."
This article was written by Sammy Batten from The Fayetteville Observer, N.C. and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.