CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Thousands of football fans are expected to stream into the Queen City Friday ahead of Saturday's ACC Championship Game at Bank of America Stadium.
This year's game features the No. 2 ranked 12-0 Clemson Tigers and 7-5 Pittsburgh Panthers. These teams last met two years ago, with Pitt upsetting the eventual national champions 43-42 in 2016. With a victory, Clemson would earn its fourth consecutive ACC title and College Football Playoff berth.
But it's the game's impact off the field that matters most to Charlotte. The Charlotte Sports Foundation estimated a $40 million impact from last year's championship, with $21 million of that coming in direct spending. And last year's game brought nearly 60,000 visitors to Charlotte.
Events connected with the game start Friday with ACC Fan Central taking place in the EpiCentre from 7 - 10 p.m. Both schools' bands, the ACC mascots and fans will get the Queen City revved up for the championship at the uptown pep rally.
On Saturday, there will be a 5K, ACC Fan Fest on South Tryon Street and ACC Tailgate Central in Romare Bearden Park to get fans ready for the game.
"There's something special about being here. The city, the opportunity to play in this stadium, the people of Charlotte just do an incredible job," said Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney.
That's why the City of Charlotte was excited to announce in April that it had reached an agreement with the ACC to keep the game in the Queen City through 2030.
"This game has truly found a home here in Charlotte," said ACC Commissioner John Swofford. “With the outstanding efforts by the Charlotte Sports Foundation, Carolina Panthers and city of Charlotte, our game has grown into one of the premier sporting events in the country. We look forward every year to this annual celebration of ACC football.”