The SEC and Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium will extend their SEC football championship hosting agreement, it was reported Friday. The current deal is set to expire in 2026.
“We’re actively engaged in discussions with Mercedes-Benz Stadium to extend our agreement to keep the SEC Football Championship game in Atlanta,” SEC spokesman Herb Vincent said. “Atlanta’s been a tremendous home for SEC football. Mercedes-Benz provides a tremendous atmosphere and we’re excited about our future in Atlanta.
““Right now, that’s where our focus is,” Vincent continued. “Atlanta is our home.”
The decision was made to extend the deal in Atlanta — though a finalized extension has not yet been signed — instead of relocating to Nissan Stadium in Nashville.
“I figured (the SEC) would hold that line for a while,” said Butch Spyridon, outgoing CEO of the Nashville Convention and Visitors Bureau. “They really like Atlanta.”
The responsible parties in Atlanta and with the league also declined to confirm the deal, despite the apparent acknowledgment that it was imminent.
“The only thing I’m authorized to tell you is we’re engaged in discussions with Atlanta to keep it there,” Vincent said.
Six of the 10 contracted games have been played in Mercedes-Benz Stadium thus far. Georgia won the first game, 28-7, over Auburn in 2017. The Bulldogs are also the defending champions, having knocked off LSU, 50-30, in December.