The SWAC announced Wednesday morning that the upcoming 2018 SWAC Toyota Football Championship game initially scheduled to be played at Legion Field in Birmingham has been relocated. The SWAC is the only conference in the FCS that holds a league championship game, with its winner heading to the Celebration Bowl in mid December.
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The title game is now slated to be held at the home venue of the SWAC institution with the highest ranking that qualifies for the championship game — played on Saturday, Dec. 1. If required, tiebreakers in the league’s constitution and bylaws will be used to determine team rankings heading into the championship game.
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“Upon arriving at the conference office in September, it was brought to my attention of a potential scheduling conflict at Legion Field if the University of Alabama at Birmingham was to qualify to host the 2018 Conference USA Football Championship game,” said SWAC Commissioner Dr. Charles McClelland. “When the probability to play the SWAC Championship game as part of a doubleheader at Legion Field started to become a reality, we quickly recognized that playing two championship games in one day would not be a viable option. The conference office then began to proactively seek an alternative site for the championship game.”
“The rich tradition and heritage of our conference requires us to showcase its’ unique legacy with this game in a way that allows us to maximize game atmosphere, overall attendance, all while having it featured as the premier attraction. It was clear that sharing the venue with UAB on that day would diminish our attempts at achieving those objectives. After considering many of these critical factors we came to the decision that the best course of action for the league was to move the 2018 SWAC Championship game on campus to the highest-ranking institution that qualifies for the championship game.”
“We would like to congratulate the University of Alabama at Birmingham Blazers football program on their successful season and we would also like to thank the City of Birmingham for all the hard work and planning that went into hosting the game up to this point.”
As previously announced the 2018 SWAC Championship game will be played on Dec. 1st at 3:30 pm (CST/local time). The game is scheduled to be broadcast live on ESPNU and will also be available live and on demand on the WatchESPN App.