The Georgia High School Sports Association announced on Tuesday it would be moving the site of this year’s state football championship games.
After spending 11 years in the Georgia Dome and then the Mercedes-Benz Stadium, the games will move to Georgia State Stadium, the former home of the Atlanta Braves, starting this fall.
The move is said to be based on the extreme renting expenses at Mercedes-Benz Stadium compared to that of the old Georgia Dome. As the AJC mentioned, the new renting fees of around $600,000 are nearly double those from the Dome.
This seems like a problem that could have been worked out ahead of time to keep the games in the Benz, but unfortunately, that will no longer happen.
UGAWire spoke with four current high school football players in the state of Georgia to find out their thoughts on the change.
Suffice to say, they were not big fans of the switch.
QB: Mike Wright, Woodward Academy (’20)
“As a kid in Georgia, as soon as you touch a football you dream of playing where the Falcons play. To have it taken away sucks but I guess it’s something we’ll have to adjust to.”
CB: A.J. Dodd, Kennesaw Mountain (’21)
“I think the games at the Benz Stadium were pretty thrilling for us as players, just getting an opportunity to step on the same field as some of the best players in the league.”
WR: Landon Kardian, Holy Innocents’ (’21)
“I do not like the idea to move out of Mercedes-Benz because that stadium is one of the coolest stadiums in the country and to miss out on playing there would be upsetting.”
P: Ethan Greenberg, Pace Academy (’21)
“It’s always been a dream of mine to step onto a field where a professional NFL team has played on. And the only way for that to happen is for Pace Academy to make it to the state championship or for me to make it to the league. The game should be played at Mercedes-Benz stadium because that’s every football players’ dream to play there.”
Since the Braves moved out of Turner Field, the once sparkling Olympic Stadium quickly lost its charm, becoming only a shell of its former self.
After attending Atlanta Legends AAF games and seeing behind the scenes, it was evident that the new venue of the GHSA state championships could use some upgrades.
Given that the games are scheduled for December 13th and 14th, playing them outdoors is not ideal either.
Not at all surprised by this move as I predicted it would happen last week but also not a fan. If you attended any @AafLegends games at GSU Stadium, you would know this place looks nothing like its former self and is literally rotting away. 👎🏻 #GHSA https://t.co/BZbZ9au8rS
— Jackson Fryburger (@JaxFryburger) May 7, 2019
The best athletes from across the state of Georgia deserve the best facilities on the biggest stage of their young football careers. Put the games back in The Benz.