To be a part of the college football playoff, bowl sites must be ready to spend, return money to the BCS and, in the case of Orlando, move a traditional bowl game to before Christmas.
Advantage Dallas, Phoenix and Atlanta?
The BCS' “Request for Proposal” -- sent Feb. 25 to more than 30 bowl execs and obtained by CBSSports.com -- states sites bidding for a playoff spot must provide 85 percent of their revenue/expense margin after the game to the “playoff group,” which is likely a placeholder name for the soon-to-be-rebranded BCS.
A “Request for Proposal” is a green light to bid for one of the three available playoff rotation spots, the chance to join the Rose, Sugar and Orange bowls in the 12-year format starting in the 2014 season.
The current average kickback for all bowls is about 70 percent, according to a source. A higher percentage is the cost of doing business in a high-profile game.
Coupling the high percentage with a laundry list of necessary commitments -- 25 cars for each team, coach buses, liability insurance, game cancellation insurance -- could dissuade some cities from bidding entering today's deadline, two bowl execs said.
“Some will say this is the chance for a BCS playoff bowl, but others will say, ‘God almighty, that's a lot to give up,'” according to a bowl exec with knowledge of the RFP document.
Though the playoff is a 12-year process, cities are bidding to host six games over six years (the 2014-19 regular seasons), with an automatic renewal for six more years unless notice is provided to back out on or before Jan. 31, 2018. Terms for the latter six-year deal are subject to change, the document states.
Many bowl executives feel the bidding process might not matter since Phoenix (Fiesta), Dallas (Cotton) and Atlanta (Chick-Fil-A) appear overwhelming favorites to land the three host bowls. One exec says it's pretty much “ordained” as such.
The “playoff group” makes clear to bowls vying for a spot: No double dipping.
The document states “no other college football game shall be hosted at the venue within the seven-day periods preceding and following the game.”
This places Orlando (Capital One), which has expressed interest in hosting national semifinals with its stadium renovation and tourism prowess, in a tough spot with the Russell Athletic Bowl, last played Dec. 28.
Games will be played on Dec. 31 or Jan. 1, but on Dec. 30 or Jan. 2 “in certain circumstances,” the RFP states.
The Russell Athletic Bowl could have the Big 12 and ACC as future partners starting in 2014. Orlando might not want to push that game back.
San Diego (Poinsettia, Holiday) has plans to bid, and the double-dipping rule doesn't apply because the Poinsettia was on Dec. 20 last year. Phoenix, also a two-bowl town, escapes this clause because the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl is in Tempe, a different site from the Fiesta's University of Phoenix Stadium.
The access bowls are expected to host at least one semifinal every three years. The access bowls outside of the semifinal don't affect the actual playoff but are still under the high-dollar playoff umbrella (think BCS, without the Big East's automatic bid).
The Rose, Sugar and Orange are “contract” bowls that cater to their affiliations when not in the semifinal -- Big 12 vs. SEC in the Sugar, Big Ten vs. Pac-12 in Rose and ACC vs. SEC/Big Ten/Notre Dame in Orange.
Dallas and Tampa are the two bidders for the 2015 national championship game, with Dallas as the prohibitive favorite. One option for Orlando or other cities is to bid for a future national title game.
Semifinal games will include a pool of 25,000 available tickets to be split between the two participating teams. The total is 18,000 for host bowls.
The schools will buy those tickets from the bowl for no more than $175 for semifinal games and $150 for host bowls. Those respective prices dip to $75 and $50 for the allotment of 1,000 student tickets per team. The student seats will be located in rows in the end zone lowest to the playing field.