The upcoming Peach Bowl between No. 4 Ohio State and No. 1 Georgia is billed as a neutral-site matchup for the semifinals of the College Football Playoff, but neutral site may not be the best way to describe the venue.
The game will kick off at 8 p.m. on New Year’s Eve at Mercedez-Benz Stadium in the heart of Atlanta, which is roughly 70 miles from Georgia’s campus. Ohio State’s is a bit further away, checking in at nearly 600 miles from the site of the semifinal, so it would seem that the Bulldogs have the apparent geographic advantage.
Both teams have already sold out their allotment of tickets – 13,000 for each team, with 500 reserved for the bands – and Peach Bowl CEO Gary Stokan said Ohio State’s allotment sold out in record time, resulting in 2,000 standing room only tickets being added.
The remaining tickets – with an expected attendance of between 78-79,000 fans – have been on sale since the summer, and many will be on the secondary market as fans of both teams try to reserve their spots for the Peach Bowl. And while it would seem that Georgia’s fan would be the ones to secure most of those secondary tickets, Stokan was optimistic that Ohio State’s fans will show out as well.
“I know that our state’s got a huge contingent of alumni that live in Atlanta metro as well as in the southeast,” Stokan told Buckeye Sports Bulletin. “And having been in this business 25 years, I’ve gone to bowl games (and the) national championship every year, and I’ve seen Ohio State fans travel the way they travel. I expect there to be a ton of Ohio State fans in Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
“I don’t know that Georgia is going to have a home field advantage,” he continued. “I think Ohio State will have just as many (fans) as Georgia, potentially, in the stadium.”
And even for those not affiliated with Ohio State or Georgia that want to take in the Peach Bowl, Stokan is expecting an exciting matchup between two of college football’s best teams.
“It’s going to be an electric atmosphere on New Year’s Eve. There’ll be fireworks all over the place when you’ve got (Ohio State’s) No. 2 scoring offense against (Georgia’s) No. 2 scoring defense, (Ohio State’s) No. 13 scoring defense against (Georgia’s) No. 11 scoring offense,” he said. “You’ve got two teams that are very, very proud of their football heritage and playing for an opportunity to get to the national championship game in Mercedes-Benz Stadium…the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl is very humbly proud to be able to host that.”