COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - This weekend marks the 27th annual Fountain City Classic between Albany State and Fort Valley State, but this year it means even more as the two teams will be battling for the SIAC Eastern Division title.
The game has been played 58 total times but was moved to the city of Columbus in 1990 to gain more corporate support.
Additionally, it brought this big-time match-up to a city with a lot of high school talent.
"This venture, this endeavor gives back to both schools, over the 27 years they have given some $3 million, I was told that number today," said Marvin Broadwater Sr., an Albany State grad and the State Representative of Omega Si Phi. "And that is just awesome to be a part of it. When they brought this classic back, it was to spark some interest in these two schools, because they are less than 90 miles away."
This year, the Fountain City Classic is expecting to sell out all 15,000 tickets inside A.J. McClung Memorial Stadium, and that goes without mentioning the more than 30,000 thousand fans outside the stadium.
"This is a gathering, so many homes are represented by Fort Valley State and Albany State University here," said Calvin Smyre, the Chairman of the Fountain City Classic. "So we have so many households that participate in this classic and then with the general public, it has made it a huge success for the city. Police tell us we will have between 40,000 to 45,000 on South Commons for the day, of course we have more people outside than inside."
Tuesday morning marked the Coaches' Luncheon, and later this week on Thursday, the two universities will host a recruitment fair at the Columbus Convention and Trade Center.