Bluefield Daily Telegraph
The highly anticipated rematch between reigning national champion Alabama and Virginia Tech is now a sellout. Chick-fil-A Bowl officials announced on Tuesday that the Aug. 31 game and both teams have completely sold their allotment of tickets.
“This is a nationally compelling matchup with two legendary coaches, passionate fan bases and perennial top-10 teams in the country,” Chick-fil-A Bowl President and CEO Gary Stokan said. “For Alabama this is a chance to start another championship run, to make history and go for the three-peat. For Virginia Tech, you can’t make much bigger of a statement than knocking off number one.”
These teams last met in 2009 when Alabama began its current national championship run with a 34-24 win over Virginia Tech in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game in Atlanta.
This will be Alabama’s third appearance in the game, having won the previous two against Virginia Tech and Clemson.
"We are looking forward to another great game and we have a lot of respect for Coach (Frank) Beamer and Virginia Tech,” Alabama head coach Nick Saban said. “We've had the opportunity to open the season twice before in Atlanta, and the experience has been extremely positive for our team and our fans.
“The Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game in the Georgia Dome is a great venue for college football. It has a bowl game feel, and the staff has done an outstanding job of making it a first-class event."
For Virginia Tech, which is coming off a disappointing 7-6 season, a victory against top-ranked Alabama would immediately thrust the Hokies into the national spotlight and set them up for a possible championship run of their own.
“The Georgia Dome is always an exciting place to play and a sold out Georgia Dome is going to be very special,” Virginia Tech head coach Frank Beamer said. “I think it’s a great atmosphere, and us playing the top program in the country in front of a packed house … that is why you come to Virginia Tech.”
Virginia Tech Athletic Director Jim Weaver agreed with Beamer.
“Playing in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game creates a very exciting environment for the fans and players of both teams,” Weaver said. “We look forward to opening the season with the defending national champions in a sold-out Georgia Dome.”
Alabama has won three of the last four national championships, including the last two. Bill Battle, the Crimson Tide’s newly-hired athletics director, is excited for the coming season.
"The University of Alabama is very excited to renew our long-standing relationship with the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game,” Battle said. “As usual, the matchup is an exciting one as we take on the Virginia Tech Hokies in the Georgia Dome.
“I know our fans, players and coaches are looking forward to kicking off the 2013 season in an outstanding setting along with the chance to play before a national audience."
The Aug. 31 contest will be held at the Georgia Dome and will begin at 5:30 p.m. It will be televised by ESPN.
Despite ticket allotments being sold out, fans still have options through PrimeSport, the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game’s official ticket exchange and VIP hospitality provider. For more information, visit PrimeSport.com or call 800-591-9198.
Alabama and West Virginia will meet in the 2014 version of the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game.