ATLANTA, Ga. (WSAV) – It seems like the GHSA has played their last slate of state football games at Center Parc Stadium for the foreseeable future.

The GHSA announced today that the title games will be hosted in Mercedes-Benz Stadium for the next three years.

“It’s a three-year deal with the intent to go a lot longer than three years,” said Atlanta Falcons president Rich McKay. “We’re happy to have them back in the building. We would be remiss if I didn’t say that we have wanted to have the championship games here.”

Falcons president Arthur Blank was the catalyst behind the scheduling change, per McKay, who noted Blank’s strong support for making flag football a sanctioned sport across Georgia and Alabama as well as his general support for high school sports.

“It’s important when he called and asked, ‘Why aren’t they there?’ He’s all-in for high school sports,” McKay said.

Discussions to move the championships to Mercedes-Benz Stadium were ongoing prior to this season, but the GHSA already had a multi-year deal in place with Georgia State to hold the games at the Panthers’ stadium.

Mercedes-Benz Stadium is hosting more yearly events than originally managed, per McKay – roughly 50 per year, which makes scheduling occasionally difficult, particularly with NFL requirements to leave certain dates open in case a team is selected for Thursday Night Football.

However, GHSA executive director Robin Hines said the scheduling challenges were never going to stop the association from returning to the Falcons’ home after moving away when the Georgia Dome closed in 2017.

“We’re here, the time is right, we’re grateful for them being able to work with us so that we can make this happen,” Hines said.