Shortly after the ACC announced on Wednesday that it will be moving all of its neutral-site championship events out of the state of North Carolina, a new city emerged as the favorite.
On short notice, only a few stadiums and communities look ready to take on the ACC championship game in December, but according to a report from ESPN’s Brett McMurphy, the newly renovated Citrus Bowl in Orlando sounds like the leader in the clubhouse to land the football title game.
Orlando is prohibitive favorite as new host of ACC title game, sources told @ESPN. They will meet w/ACC officials on Thursday
— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) September 14, 2016
But that’s not all, according to Matt Murschel the Orlando area is working with the ACC to get all eight championships for the 2016-17 season.
Central Florida Sports Commission says it will pursue all of the #ACC championships including football.
— Matt Murschel (@osmattmurschel) September 14, 2016
Since no decision is final yet, here are a few other suggestions for where the ACC could (or should) look to host the title game in a few months.
1. Orlando: The Citrus Bowl did just host a huge event with Florida State and Ole Miss on Labor Day and this is as good a chance as any to make the most of those shiny new renovations while they’ve got the chance.
2. Bristol Motor Speedway: There might not be any ACC programs in Tennessee, but if the league could pack even half of last Saturday’s audience into the race track, it would be one of the wilder spectacles we could expect from that Championship Saturday.
3. Tampa: They city has previously hosted the ACC championship game but already said this week it would not pursue the 2016 title game if the ACC pulled it from Charlotte. The group says its “totally focused” on hosting the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship Game in January.
4. Jacksonville: On the list since it’s the only other host of the ACC championship besides Tampa and Charlotte, but unlikely since the Jaguars have a home game on Sunday. That would make the ACC’s coveted Saturday night kickoff for the title game a little more difficult to pull off, and moving the game up to a time slot that challenges the SEC title game seems less than ideal.
5. Campus Site: Wild card selection here, but why not? You give an advantage to one division winner, sure, but in the ACC isn’t that already kind of the case?
Source: CBS Sports Headlines / Report: Orlando favorite to host ACC title game in 2016, but other options viable