Bye-bye ‘Benz: HS football championships switch venues

GHSA Game Changes

ATLANTA, GA (WALB) - The champions of Georgia high school football will still be crowned in Atlanta in 2019, but not at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, home to the Falcons of the NFL, and Atlanta United of MLS.

The Georgia High School Association posted on its website Tuesday that these games will be played at the former home of the Atlanta Braves, also the home of the opening ceremonies of the 1996 Olympic Games.

That stadium is now home to the Georgia State University football Panthers, and in December, the top teams of GHSA football will decide their championships there.

The GHSA cited last year’s conflicts with Atlanta United’s run to a world championship, and snow, which forced the postponement of the high school football games.

The Georgia High School Association is pleased to announce today that all eight State Football Championships, sponsored by Georgia Farm Bureau Insurance, will be played at Georgia State Stadium in Atlanta (formerly Turner Field) on Friday and Saturday, December 13-14, 2019.

“We are excited to announce that the GHSA/ Tommy Guillebeau Football State Championships will be held at Georgia State Stadium,” said GHSA Executive Director Dr. Robin Hines. “Charlie Cobb at Georgia State University has been tremendously supportive in planning with the GHSA an event that will provide a first class experience for our student athletes and benefit our participating schools. We look forward to our partnership with Georgia State University.”

The move comes after two years of trying to hold the games at the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Six of the eight games were “snowed out” in 2017 and had to be played at local high school venues, and then last year’s contests were moved to a Tuesday and Wednesday because of a weekend conflict with the Atlanta United soccer team’s MLS final.

Exact game times at Georgia State will be announced at a later date, but it is anticipated the usual schedule of four games on Friday and four games on Saturday will be maintained.

“We thank Dr. Hines and the Georgia High School Association,” said Georgia State Athletic Director Charlie Cobb. “Georgia State is honored to host the eight GHSA state championships this December. It is exciting for us to know that the culminating point for high school football throughout the state is Georgia State Stadium. Our staff will showcase a first-class experience for the players, coaches, and fans of the participating teams.”

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