ATLANTA -- The Southeastern Conference and the Georgia Dome have agreed to keep the SEC Football Championship in Atlanta through the 2017 season, announced today by SEC Commissioner Mike Slive.

The new agreement adds two additional years to a five-year contract that was agreed upon in July of 2009, keeping the game in the Georgia Dome for at least another seven years.

“The SEC Football Championship Game continues to be one of the premiere college sports events,” Commissioner Slive said. “The Georgia Dome and the Georgia World Congress Center has shown year-in and year-out that it is an outstanding host for our event. Their operations staff and leadership have been tremendous to work with and we look forward to continuing the relationship.”

The SEC Championship has been held in Atlanta’s Georgia Dome for the previous 17 years and has seen the last five SEC Champions go on to win the National Championship. The first two SEC Football Championships were held at historic Legion Field in Birmingham, Ala. in 1992 and 1993 and the Georgia Dome has hosted the annual event consecutively since 1994.

“We are both excited and honored that the SEC wants to keep their football championship in the Georgia Dome and the City of Atlanta,” Dome General Manager Carl Adkins said. “This event is the most prestigious football championship in all of college football and we are thrilled to keep the game in the Georgia Dome for many years to come.”

The game has sold out in 16 of the 17 championships held in the Dome, packing nearly 1.2 million people in the Georgia Dome to watch past SEC Championships. The annual event has generated over 702 million dollars of economic impact to the city of Atlanta since 2000, an average of nearly 64 million dollars per year, and approximately 30.7 million dollars in sales taxes over the same time span.

“With the addition of the College Football Hall of Fame coming to the Georgia World Congress Center Campus in 2013, SEC Championship Week is only going to get bigger and better for the fans as the game enters its 20th year in Atlanta,” Adkins added. “The future of this game and our campus is very exciting.”

The Georgia Dome has a history of hosting Championships at both the professional and collegiate level and the SEC Championship is at the forefront of that legacy.

The 2011 Championship game will be held on December 3 and televised nationally by CBS. Included in SEC Championship Week are the Regions Bank SEC Coaches Luncheon, the Dr. Pepper SEC Fanfare, the Allstate SEC Good Works Day and the SEC Legends Dinner presented by AT&T.