ATLANTA (Dec 15, 2022) – The Georgia High School Association (GHSA) in partnership with Mercedes-Benz Stadium (MBS) and the Atlanta Falcons today announced a three-year deal to bring the boys tackle and girls flag football state championship games to Mercedes-Benz Stadium beginning in 2023.
“We are excited to partner with GHSA to bring the football championships to Mercedes-Benz Stadium,” said Atlanta Falcons CEO and President Rich McKay. “Youth sports is, and has always been, a priority for the Atlanta Falcons,” McKay continues. “This announcement is a testament to the coordinated efforts of many and we are excited to continue to support and grow the sport we all love.”
The Atlanta Falcons and GHSA have enjoyed a long-tenured relationship in support of boys tackle football. In 2018, the Falcons and the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation successfully worked to elevate the offering of girls flag football across the state. In 2019, in partnership with the GHSA, local high school athletic directors, coaches, and players, girls flag football became a sanctioned sport in Georgia and is now played in more than 250 high schools across the state.
“We could not be more thrilled to bring the GHSA Football Championships back to Mercedes-Benz Stadium,” said GHSA Executive Director Dr. Robin Hines. “We are grateful for our partnership with the Falcons and are especially thankful for Rich McKay, Tim Zulawski, Chris Millman and Amanda Dinkel for their commitment to high school athletics,” Hines continued. “Bringing the football championships back to MBS allows our student athletes to compete in the best venue anywhere and will provide an experience for our athletes and fans that will be second to none.”
Georgia is projected to have over 36,000 high school football participants by 2023, and Georgia high school football had 29 players drafted in 2022 NFL Draft, only second behind Texas. The state of Georgia had four first round selections in the 2022 NFL Draft, and the state of Georgia had the most NFL players drafted in 2022 per capita.