ATLANTA (November 21, 2016) – The Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game returns to its ACC-SEC roots to open the 2019 college football season in Atlanta.
The 12th installment of the nation’s longest-running kickoff game will feature the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Duke Blue Devils in the first meeting between the two schools since 2010, an Alabama win in Durham. The Crimson Tide lead the all-time series 2-1, having beaten the Blue Devils in 1972 following a Duke win in 1945.
The game is set for Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019. Kick time and television network are yet to be announced.
“This will be a unique matchup to kick off the 2019 season and an interesting matchup of two accomplished veteran coaches. We expect a bowl-like atmosphere and an exciting opening to another great year of college football,” said Percy Vaughn, Chick-fil-a Peach Bowl chairman.
Alabama will be making its record-sixth appearance in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game. The Crimson Tide hold a 4-0 record in the event and are set to open the 2017 season in Atlanta with a showdown against Florida State. The 2019 appearance will continue the streak of SEC teams appearing in every Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game since 2008.
Duke will be making its debut in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game and will be the eighth ACC team to make such an appearance. The Blue Devils return to Atlanta for the first time on a neutral field since their memorable 2013 Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl clash with Texas A&M.
“These are two great programs with passionate fan bases that will surely pack the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium, creating an incredible atmosphere for college football,” said Gary Stokan, Peach Bowl, Inc. president and CEO. “We are thrilled to have Alabama back for another Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game and can’t wait to welcome Duke back to Atlanta.”
The Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game averages more than 67,000 fans for each game – higher than 33 bowl games from last year – and its team payout averages $4.7 million, which is higher than 24 bowl games last season. Television viewership is also traditionally strong with more than 47 million viewers tuning in to the series since 2008.
“We are very excited to have completed an agreement to return to Atlanta for another great season-opening neutral-site game, this time against the Duke Blue Devils in 2019,” said Alabama Athletics Director Bill Battle. “Duke’s head coach, David Cutcliffe, has brought consistent success to the Duke program. David is a class act, an Alabama graduate who has been highly successful at every stop in his career. These matchups have been exciting for our fans and very beneficial for the Alabama brand, both athletically and for the University as a whole. We look forward to another great visit to Atlanta and the chance to showcase our program in this contest.”
“This presents Duke Football with a tremendous opportunity to play in a world-class venue against Alabama, which is clearly a gold standard program in college football,” said Duke Vice President and Director of Athletics Kevin White. “Duke’s players, coaches, staff and fans love traveling to the great city of Atlanta, and all have enjoyed many magical moments there, including the memorable 2013 Chick-fil-A Bowl against Texas A&M. We look forward to showcasing Duke University on such a national platform, and under the brightest lights of the 2019 college football season.”
“The Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game is an outstanding event and we are excited to open the 2019 season in Atlanta,” said Nick Saban, Alabama head coach. “We have had the opportunity to play in this game on multiple occasions and it is like a bowl game in terms of the competitive venue that’s created. David Cutcliffe has done an excellent job at Duke, and they will be a really good challenge for our team. It’s an honor and a privilege to be a part of this first-class event hosted by the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl. Playing in this game has provided great exposure for our football program and has been something our fans have enjoyed attending.”
“For starters, we’re both honored and thrilled to represent Duke University and the Atlantic Coast Conference in this game,” said Duke Head Football Coach David Cutcliffe. “This is a tremendous opportunity for our program, and obviously an incredible challenge facing the University of Alabama. The proud history between the two schools is well documented, as Duke and Alabama have an unparalleled common connection with Coach Wade, along with playing in the 1945 Sugar Bowl and Steve Sloan, who played quarterback under Coach Bryant and later served as the head coach here at Duke. We’re certainly appreciative of Gary Stokan and his team for including us in this event as we know from experience it will be a first class occasion for our players and fans.”
The teams will battle for The Old Leather Helmet Trophy, one of college football’s iconic rivalry-game trophies. Traditionally, winners of The Old Leather Helmet don the helmet on the field after the game, starting with the head coach and then rotating from player to player as the team celebrates its victory.
All tickets to the game will be sold through the university ticket offices.
Past and Future Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game match-ups include:
Year: Match-Up: Winner:
2008 #9 Clemson vs. #24 Alabama Alabama 34-10
2009 #5 Alabama vs. #7 Virginia Tech Alabama 34-24
2010 #16 LSU vs. #18 North Carolina LSU 30-24
2011 #5 Boise State vs. #19 Georgia Boise State 35-21
2012 #25 NC State vs. Tennessee Tennessee 35-21
2012 #14 Clemson vs. #24 Auburn Clemson 26-19
2013 #1 Alabama vs. Virginia Tech Alabama 35-10
2014 #18 Ole Miss vs. Boise State Ole Miss 35-13
2014 #2 Alabama vs. West Virginia Alabama 33-23
2015 #25 Louisville vs. #6 Auburn Auburn 31-24
2016 #18 Georgia vs. #22 North Carolina Georgia 33-24
2017 Alabama vs. Florida State
2017 Georgia Tech vs. Tennessee
2018 Washington vs. Auburn
2019 Alabama vs. Duke