Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson and Peach Bowl CEO Gary Stokan pose with the trophy for the Chick-fil-A Kickoff game at the ACC Kickoff in Charlotte, N.C., Friday. The game is to be played Sept. 4 between Tech and Tennessee at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium. (AJC photo by Ken Sugiura)

Tech will be well-represented in stands for Chick-fil-A Kickoff game

Georgia Tech will have a strong presence at the Chick-fil-A Kickoff game against Tennessee. The school has sold 35,000 tickets, Peach Bowl president Gary Stokan said, significantly more than Tennessee. Tech’s original contract allotment was 30,000 tickets.

“Georgia Tech’s excited about this game,” Stokan said Friday at the ACC Kickoff.

Tennessee’s allotment was 25,000. The school has come back to Stokan to request another few thousand tickets, he said. Capacity for the game at the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium will be around 74,000. The remainder of the tickets will go to Chick-fil-A Kickoff game sponsors and partners and stadium club-seat holders. Among fans purchasing tickets through StubHub, 58 percent are from Georgia and 21 percent are from Tennessee, although there is no shortage of Volunteers fans in the state.

Tech included the kickoff-game ticket as part of its season-ticket package. Stokan expects a sellout for the game.

The brisk sales should give Tech a slight home-field advantage in the new stadium. That would rebut Tennessee athletic director John Currie’s prediction last week that “orange will be the predominant shade” in the stadium.

Stokan sees the game as a chance for Tech to push its brand to the Atlanta market. That was how he pitched the game to former Tech AD Mike Bobinski, he said.

“I said, ‘One of the things in my estimation in working with us that you can do is play in Mercedes-Benz Stadium when it first opens,’” Stokan said.

The game was announced in July 2015. Stokan was at the ACC Kickoff to meet with coaches and start to fill openings for future kickoff games. Stokan said that he had not had any conversations with either Tech coach Paul Johnson or athletic director Todd Stansbury about future appearances. This will be Tech’s first appearance in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff game.

“But we love having Georgia Tech, whether it’s our bowl game or our kickoff game, because they’re good partners,” Stokan said. “We love working with Paul and certainly love working with all their fans that are in Atlanta.”