After a three-year decline in Jacksonville and blatant embarrassment in Tampa, the ACC Championship Game is trying out more centrally located Charlotte this year. So far things are looking up, as only 12,000 of almost 74,000 seats have yet to be sold. The game should be able to set its second-highest mark since its first edition reached 72,749.â†µ
Business picked up once the Virginia Tech Hokies locked down the Coastal Division, and will probably enjoy another bump after this weekend, when either the Florida St. Seminoles or N.C. State Wolfpack earn the other spot. If the game can come within several thousand of the SEC Championship Game despite having no national championship relevance, the first year of the Charlotte experiment will have been a big success.â†µ
The question is whether the conference can keep it going, as that first game in Jacksonville was only a few hundred short of that year's SEC game itself. A good game this year, plus an actual BCS bowl win, would help for next year, but having two highly ranked teams is the only consistent recipe for success.â†µ
If Charlotte doesn't work, hopefully they just copy the Pac-10 and give the higher-ranked team home field advantage, which seems like a no-brainer to me anyway.