Tampa Chosen to Host 2017 College Football National Championship
Tampa has been chosen to host the college football national championship in 2017. Starting next year, the bowl championship system is being replaced by a four-team playoff.
The city has already hosted four Super Bowls.
It will be the third championship under a new four-team playoff format that begins next year. Arizona was Monday named to host the 2016 game, completing the lineup for the next three years. The Dallas Cowboys' stadium in Arlington, Texas was previously awarded the 2015 game.
Bill Hancock, Executive Director of the College Football Playoff, said in a news release:
"The Championship Game will be a significant event on the American calendar -- not only the sports calendar, but also the cultural calendar," said Hancock. "The BCS championship has been the second most-watched annual sports event in the United States, trailing only the Super Bowl, and the playoff game will rise to a new level. Fans across the nation hope their teams will make it, and many set their travel schedules around it. It's a real feather in the cap of the community that earns the right to host it. So congratulations to these two fine cities and thanks to all the communities that submitted bids to participate."
"It was a difficult decision for the management committee, because there were many good options, but Arizona and Tampa Bay were selected because of their top-notch facilities and because of the thorough proposals their leaders submitted. We were impressed by all the bids and we know communities' interest will only increase in the coming years," said Hancock.
"Arizona has proven itself to be one of the greatest settings for premiere college football events, and has become a favored destination for fans from around the country. The folks in Arizona put together an exceptional bid that really won the day with the management committee. Likewise, Tampa Bay is a terrific destination with a beautiful stadium and a community that is committed to hosting big events in a gracious and thorough manner. We are very happy with the facilities, the creative proposal and the commitment of support from community leaders," said Hancock.
In August, the management committee invited interested communities to submit proposals to host the championship games for the second and third year of the playoff. In September, eight communities responded with formal bids. Four communities bid for the 2016 game and six communities bid for the 2017 game. Two communities bid for both years.
The College Football Playoff will begin with the 2014-2015 season and will feature the four top teams as selected by the College Football Playoff Selection Committee, whose membership was announced in October. The Rose Bowl and the Sugar Bowl will host the first national semifinals, which will pit No. 1 versus No. 4 and No. 2 versus No. 3 on January 1, 2015. The winners of those two games will face off in the first National Championship Game of the playoff era at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas January 12, 2015.