ATLANTA, GA - Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl officials announced today that a sellout crowd will fill the 71,228-seat Georgia Dome on Dec. 30 to watch a "Brawl with a Drawl" between the Clemson University Tigers and the Mississippi State Bulldogs. This marks the Bowl's seventh sellout in the last nine years and is the earliest recorded sellout in the 32 years of Peach Bowl match-ups. The game will be televised nationally on ESPN at 7:30 p.m. for those who do not have tickets.
"To achieve a sellout like this is always a challenge, but with two great teams like these and the best football facility in the country we knew tickets would go fast," said W. Glenn Cornell, Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Chairman and Senior Vice President for Bank of America. "This ticket is becoming one of Atlanta's toughest every year."
The 6-5 Clemson Tigers are led by first-year head coach and recently named 1999 ACC coach of the year, Tommy Bowden. The Tigers established an ACC record for improvement in ACC standings this year. In the final 1998 standings, Clemson was 1-7, but improved to 5-3 and a tie for second in the final 1999 ACC standings. Clemson also boasts the ACC defensive player of the year in linebacker Keith Adams.
Led by the nation's number one defense, the 9-2 Mississippi State Bulldogs will enter the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl looking for their first 10-win season since 1940. The Bulldogs defense held opponents to 222.5 total yards per game and only 66.9 ypg on the ground - both tops in the nation. The defense is led by all-SEC first team members, safety Ashley Cooper and linebacker Barrin Simpson.
The Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl is recognized as the nation's most competitive bowl game - for the last 15 games, the average margin of victory has been just over a field goal (3.2 points). The Bowl is also one of the five best-attended bowl games in the nation, and it's three-year-old partnership with Atlanta-based Chick-fil-A has elevated "Atlanta's Bowl Game" to a citywide event.
"This is the second straight year the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl has had a 9-2 team and Clemson played the second toughest schedule in the nation, including games against Florida State, Virginia Tech and Marshall," said Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl President Gary Stokan. "Both of our teams also finished second in their conference. The excitement of the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl is no longer a secret. This year's sellout proves it."
Celebration of this year's game offers fans the chance to enjoy a host of pre-game festivities including Showdown At Underground on December 29 featuring the bands, cheerleaders and mascots from both teams at Underground Atlanta. Ticket holders, sports fans and team supporters can enjoy the free event from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. as the college bands will face-off in a "You Can't Play Jack!" contest followed by a live performance by the Swingin' Medallions.
The Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Parade kicks-off December 30 at 1:30 p.m. at Peachtree and West Peachtree Streets in downtown Atlanta and ends an hour later at the Georgia World Congress Center (GWCC). This year's parade entitled "Atlanta: Sports Capital of the World" features Olympians, representatives from Atlanta's professional sports teams and the Road Atlanta Pace Car.
Following the parade and prior to kick-off, the world's largest indoor pep-rally heats up at the GWCC with the Coca-Cola Fan Fest, a celebration with live music and interactive games from 2:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Tickets to Fan Fest are $5 each.
For more information about the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, call (404) 586-8500, or visit the web site at www.chick-fil-apeachbowl.com. For hotel reservations for metro Atlanta Marriott hotels, call 1-888-GO-PEACH.