<
>

Frontrunners: Jacksonville, Charlotte, Orlando

AMELIA ISLAND, Fla. -- The Atlantic Coast Conference has
requested proposals from nine cities to host its football
championship game, which begins in 2005.

Jacksonville, Charlotte, N.C., and Orlando, are considered among
the top candidates. Miami, Tampa, Atlanta, Washington, Baltimore
and East Rutherford, N.J., are also being considered. The inaugural game will be played Dec. 3, 2005.

ACC commissioner John Swofford didn't rate the cities, other
than to say Atlanta was a long shot because it hosts the
Southeastern Conference title game.

"Atlanta is not realistic because the SEC is already there, and
on the same weekend we would play our game," Swofford told the
Florida Times-Union.

The commissioner said the league will make its decision in late
summer or fall.

The league decided to create a title game after bringing Miami,
Virginia Tech and Boston College into the league from the Big East
Conference. Miami and Virginia Tech begin play in the upcoming
season, while Boston College will start in the 2005 season,
bringing the league to 12 teams.

On Wednesday, when the meetings adjourn, Swofford is expected to
announce a new television contract for the league.