Local tourism execs hold out hope for ACC Championship

CHARLOTTE — Charlotte started this college football season with a Top 5 matchup between Clemson and Georgia that accounted for most of the $26.4 million in visitor spending generated by Labor Day weekend games at Bank of America Stadium. Soon, local organizers may face the challenge of selling an afterthought ACC Football Championship featuring two schools that boast neither brand-name awareness nor ticket-hungry fan bases.

Heading into the season’s penultimate weekend, the likely division winners in the Atlantic Coast Conference are Pittsburgh and Wake Forest. The ACC Football Championship will be played at Bank of America Stadium on Dec. 4. Kickoff is at 8 p.m.

“We’ve been lucky for a long time because Clemson was good enough to be here every year,” Mohammad Jenatian, head of the Greater Charlotte Hospitality & Tourism Alliance, told CBJ. “Unfortunately, not this year.”

Jenatian said the matchup is “out of our control” but added that the city benefits from having the championship game no matter the participants. And, he said, the city’s hotels, restaurants and local organizers are charged with welcoming the teams and their fans and ensuring a good experience no matter the size of the crowds. Jenatian and other tourism executives hold out hope that if it’s Pitt-Wake Forest, fans of those teams will want to come see their teams play here.

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(WATCH BELOW: Charlotte to host ACC football championship games through 2030)