At Georgia State’s spring scrimmage Thursday, fans received t-shirts with the 2011 schedule printed on the back. Consider them collector’s items.
The school scheduled to play its season opener Sept. 1 against Clark Atlanta at the Georgia Dome. The Falcons, though, have also claimed that date for their final preseason game against the Baltimore Ravens, assuming the lockout is over. If you’re guessing that the winner of this fight is the football team that’s been a dome tenant since 1992 and last year was valued at $831 million, you’re getting warm.
The Falcons have a licensing agreement with the dome that gives them first option on every date, Thursday through Monday, from the end of July through the end of January, dome general manager Carl Adkins said Friday. When Georgia State arranged to use the dome Sept. 1, it was merely placing a hold on it in the event the Falcons didn’t want it.
“We deal with that on a regular basis with all our regular customers, as well,” Adkins said. “Until the Falcons release their schedule, we can’t confirm any of the other [dates].”
Georgia State spokeswoman Allison George said the school is looking into its options. The Panthers are also looking for a new opponent for Nov. 5. They were scheduled to play Lambuth, a tiny NAIA school in Jackson, Tenn., but the school is closing in June after years of financial difficulty.
The most viable option for Georgia State would seem to be Friday, Sept. 2. Wednesday is not possible as Sept. 1 is the earliest competition date allowed by the NCAA this year. A Friday Georgia State home game will pose a considerable challenge for the dome – a Falcons game Thursday, Georgia State Friday and the Chick-fil-A kickoff game between Georgia and Boise State Saturday. Adkins, who once helped stage three games in four days, said he’s willing to do it.
“That’s what we do,” Adkins said. “Quite frankly, the bigger the challenge, the more we like it.”