By Brett McMurphy and Dennis Dodd
HOOVER, Ala. -- Requests for Proposal from cities with a desire to host the Champions Bowl are expected to go out next week, multiple sources told CBSSports.com.
The game is expected to be anchored in one spot beginning after the 2014 regular season. Dallas and Atlanta, among other cities, are known to be interested. An RFP is a business process by which a city bids on a specific event. The Champions Bowl will ask for a list of amenities cities can provide.
Parties expect a quick turnaround on awarding the host city of the Champions Bowl. There is already a growing urgency with college football's first playoff only 30 months away. ESPN has an exclusive negotiating window for the package in the fall.
The Champions Bowl was created by the SEC and Big 12 as a postseason home for those leagues' champions. If the champions of each league advance to the national semifinals, each conference would provide another team. The bowl is expected to be part of the playoff semifinal rotation of the 12-year term of the playoff agreed upon last month.
The Champions Bowl then must decide how many times it would host the national semifinals. The game has taken on the look of the Rose Bowl which seeks to protect its Big Ten-Pac-12 matchup in most years. The normal rotation would be that the six participating bowls in the yet unnamed system would host semifinals four times in 12 years. CBSSports.com reported earlier this month that the Champions and Rose bowls may want to host fewer than four semifinals.
Landing the rights to the Champions would be the next step in arranging the first major-college football playoff. The TV rights for the Champions Bowl are expected to match the $80 million ESPN paid the Rose Bowl in its new deal. It is not known what it would take for a city to land the Champions Bowl.
Dallas is considered a favorite to land the game. Sources said the SEC would welcome a game into new recruiting territory in Texas. Jerry Jones' Cowboys Stadium also is state of the art. Atlanta and the Georgia Dome would be at a disadvantage because of the possibility of the same SEC team playing at the venue within a few weeks. The Georgia Dome also hosts the SEC title game.
If Atlanta does not land the Champions Bowl, the city would still be interested in bidding on hosting playoff semifinals and the championship game. The Sporting News reported Tuesday that the championship game alone would be worth $200 million. The two semifinals are expected to be worth $80 million. The entire playoff could be worth more than $600 million per year.
The Champions will be bid for separately apart from the Rose Bowl, Orange Bowl -- the so-called “contract” bowls. The other participating bowls -- for now expected to be the Sugar, Fiesta and a third bowl -- will be bundled as a separate TV deal with the playoff games.
Also, the Champions Bowl will not be the actual name of the bowl, sources said. Instead it will assume the name of the bowl where it's held, such as the Cotton Bowl or Chick-fil-A Bowl, etc.