SEC football title game staying in Atlanta through at least 2031

The SEC football championship game will remain at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta through at least 2031, the conference announced Thursday.

The agreement is an extension of the current contract that was set to expire in 2026 and allows the SEC the option of exercising an additional five-year extension that could keep the game in Atlanta through 2036.

Atlanta has hosted the SEC championship game every year since 1994, with Saturday's Alabama-Georgia matchup being the 30th. The Georgia Dome was home to the game through 2016, and Mercedes-Benz Stadium has hosted the game since 2017.

"The SEC football championship game is one of the premier events in college sports, and Mercedes-Benz Stadium is one of the finest sports facilities on the globe, making Atlanta the perfect venue for our annual title game," SEC commissioner Greg Sankey said. "We look forward to continuing a very positive relationship with Mercedes-Benz Stadium and the Georgia World Congress Center as the home of our football championship."

With Oklahoma and Texas joining the SEC for the 2024 football season, Sankey said there were no plans to move the SEC championship game to a venue closer to that part of the country.

"The great thing about Oklahoma and Texas and their leadership is they very much want to be a part of the Southeastern Conference and our history," Sankey said. "If they both have an opportunity to participate in our championship game, there will be great excitement from our westward members. We are looking forward to our future in Atlanta."