The first-ever College Football Playoff championship game will be held in January 2015 in Arlington, Texas, at Jerry Jones' palatial AT&T Stadium -- just as every college football fan alive expected it to be as soon as the playoff powers-that-be announced the title game hosting rights would be put up for bidding.
But where will the next championship game be held? And the one after that? Fans won't have to wait too terribly long to find out, as the College Football Playoff announced Wednesday that it has opened bidding on both the 2016 and 2017 playoff championship games.
The deadline for bids is Sept. 27. The announcement says the winning bids are "expected to be determined by the end of November."
It also specifies that bidding will be restricted to stadia "with capacity for at least 65,000 fans" -- a requirement that would seem to enhance the odds of the usual big-money bowl suspects (the Rose Bowl, the Sugar Bowl's Superdome, the Fiesta Bowl's University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, etc.). Another candidate might be Tampa, which made a serious bid for the first championship game.
The games will be held January 11, 2016, and January 9, 2017.
The complete text of the announcement:
IRVING, TEXAS - The College Football Playoff today announced that it is inviting communities to bid for the right to host the College Football Championship Games to be played on January 11, 2016 and January 9, 2017, the second and third years of the new College Football Playoff format.
The championship game will be played in a different city each year, which is a feature of the new playoff designed to expand opportunities for fans across the country to attend the game in person. The first championship game of the playoff era will be played at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, January 12, 2015.
“College football is a national sport and we are pleased—but not surprised—that so many cities want to host the championship game of the new playoff,” said Bill Hancock, Executive Director of the College Football Playoff. “Rotating the game will bring it to fans where they live. This is a very exciting feature of the playoff, and one which we think will make this sport even more popular.”
In the spring, the College Football Playoff awarded the first championship game of the playoff era to Arlington. The bidding process for the 2016 and 2017 games will be similar and will be consistent with other major events such as the NCAA Men's Final Four. A main requirement is a stadium with capacity for at least 65,000 fans.
The deadline for cities to submit initial proposals will be September 27, 2013, with the host cities expected to be determined by the end of November.