ATHENS — The anticipation is building, social media channels are heating up and ticket prices are on the rise.
The Georgia-Clemson football game will feature two of the nation’s top championship contenders when the teams meet at 7:30. p.m. on Sept. 4 at Bank of American Stadium in Charlotte, N.C.
The only way the game could be better, some might argue, is if it were in one of the program’s storied home venues, the Bulldogs Sanford Stadium or the Tigers Memorial Stadium.
“First of all, this game shouldn’t be in Charlotte,” SEC Network host Paul Finebaum recently said. “I live in Charlotte, I can walk up and down my street and run into Clemson fans.
“Maybe there was a time this was a North Carolina town, maybe there was a time with South Carolina people, but lately it’s Clemson.”
The crowd is expected to be split or close to it, with each school having received 27.500 tickets for donors and fans, and another 500 each for its bands. Another 5,000 seats are in suites and the remainder of the 75,000-plus quickly sold out in June.
The cheapest pair of tickets currently listed on StubHub.com are $570 and in the upper deck end zone, while the least expensive lower deck ticket pair are $1,228, also in the end zone.
Seats behind the team benches are predictably high: $1,354 per ticket behind the Georgia bench, $1,164 behind the Clemson bench.
The Tigers’ fans are no strangers to Bank of America Stadium. Clemson has played there in the ACC Championship Game six times, including each of the past four years. The Tigers have won each of those contests.
“This is a Clemson town. Should that be a factor in the game? No,” Finebaum said. “But it’s clearly an advantage for Clemson to play the game in Charlotte North-slash-South Carolina.
“But I’m glad they are playing it. This is the defining game of the college football season, at least going in.”
Finebaum went on record last month predicting a Georgia win, but Clemson was recently listed as a 4-point favorite.
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The Bulldogs lead the all-time series with the Tigers, 42-18-4, and won the most recent meeting by a 45-21 count in Athens on Aug. 30, 2014.
Clemson coach Dabo Swinney has said the Tigers would “play Georgia every year if it was up to me.”
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Georgia and Clemson will meet again in yet another neutral site game in 2024, in Atlanta, before resuming in home-and-home fashion in 2029-2030 and 2032-2033.
UGA and Clemson played every year from 1897-1916, and all but two seasons from 1962 to 1987.
Even with SEC expansion in 1992, Georgia had home-and-home series with Clemson in 1990-1991, 1994-1995, 1998-1999 and 2002-2003.
Clemson plays its in-state rival South Carolina as a non-conference home-and-home every season, while Georgia is saddled with in-state non-conference opponent Georgia Tech annually.