Eight Regions Bid to Host 2016-17 College Football Title GamesCurtis Eichelberger
New Orleans, South Florida and the San Francisco Bay area are among eight bidders seeking to stage the 2016 or 2017 college football national championship games.
AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, was picked earlier to host the inaugural title game on Jan. 12, 2015, under the new four-team playoff format.
Cities or regions bidding for 2016 are Arizona (University of Phoenix Stadium); Jacksonville, Florida (EverBank Field); New Orleans (Mercedes-Benz Superdome); and Tampa Bay, Florida (Raymond James Stadium). Bidders for 2017 are the San Francisco Bay Area (Levi’s Stadium), Minneapolis (Vikings Stadium), San Antonio (Alamodome), South Florida (Sun Life Stadium), Jacksonville and Tampa Bay.
“College football is a national sport, and rotating the game will bring it to more fans where they live,” Bill Hancock, executive director of the College Football Playoff, said in a statement.
The 2016-17 sites probably will be selected in November by the 10 Football Bowl Subdivision conference commissioners and Notre Dame Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick.
ESPN signed a 12-year contract in November to televise the playoffs and selected other games for an average $470 million annually, according to ESPN.com
The inaugural semifinal games will be played Jan. 1, 2015, at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California and the Sugar Bowl in the Superdome.
College football championships draw thousands of out-of-town guests to the host city, where teams, schools and booster clubs throw parties and drive up local revenue.
Enigma Research Corp., a consulting firm that conducted an economic impact study for the University of Alabama’s 37-21 victory over the University of Texas in the 2010 championship game at the Rose Bowl, said the game generated $82.4 million for the local economy.