Georgia, Boise State will open 2011 season in Atlanta

ATHENS, Ga. --- Kiss Louisville goodbye and say hello to Boise State.

Georgia will open the 2011 college football season on Saturday, Sept. 3 with a nationally televised game against Boise State at Atlanta's Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game in Atlanta, canceling a home-and-home series with Louisville to complete the deal.

The game will kick off at 8 p.m. at the Georgia Dome and will air on either ABC or ESPN.

"I think it's a remarkable example of people kinda working together to make things work for everyone," Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity said Friday.

Louisville declined a request to mutually cancel the series, so the Chick-fil-A Bowl and ESPN agreed to pay a $600,000 series buyout to Louisville and helped arrange an alternative home-and-home series for the Cardinals against North Carolina.

In addition, Georgia will receive approximately $1.7 million to appear in the game, while Boise State will receive $1.4 million.

The Bulldogs also cleared space for an extra 2012 home game -- giving Georgia seven home games that season -- by ending the Louisville series. McGarity said an announcement on that opponent should come in the near future.

"We're really close to having an agreement in place for a team," he said, adding that it wouldn't require a return game. "I don't want to say who that is now, but we should be able to in the next 14-21 (days) be able to announce who that opponent is."

Ole Miss and Boise State were originally scheduled to meet in the 2011 season opener in Oxford, Miss, but agreed to move their game to Aug. 28, 2014 as part of a Thursday-Saturday Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game doubleheader in Atlanta. Alabama will face a to-be-determined opponent in the Saturday portion of the doubleheader.

"We're working hard in 2013 and '14 probably to match up an ACC team with Alabama in both those cases," Chick-fil-A Bowl president Gary Stokan said.

Game organizers will reserve 7,500 tickets for Boise State fans to purchase through the school.

The remaining tickets for the Georgia Dome -- which seats 71,228 -- will be left to Georgia fans, minus the tickets reserved for local entities.

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