The new College Football Playoff format will feature four first-round on-campus games to be played Dec. 20-21 in 2024. With expansion just around the corner, the prospect of a late-December home game is creating logistical challenges for programs that routinely experience harsh winters. Some universities are making proactive changes with hopes of capably hosting postseason contests in the near future. 

On Thursday, Penn State approved a $70 million renovation to Beaver Stadium, which the university says will give it "the ability to host a College Football Playoff game beginning in 2024." It joins Big Ten member Wisconsin, which approved a $5.5 million renovation of its own with similar intentions earlier this week. 

"What pushed this over the edge for us (approving this renovation) was the potential of hosting playoff games in Camp Randall in December," Wisconsin senior associate athletic director Jason King told the Wisconsin State Journal.

While winter weather already affects games in conferences like the Big Ten in November, it has the potential to create havoc in the late-December time window when the CFP will play on-campus postseason contests. 

Wisconsin is installing a radiant heating system under its field turf, which will make the field "more playable in freezing temperatures and lessen the need for snow removal efforts," King said. Penn State's project includes "insulation of pipes and other upgrades to allow the building to be occupied when temperatures are below freezing."

The CFP's expanded 12-team bracket will feature the six highest-ranked conference champions as automatic qualifiers along with the next six highest-ranked teams. The four highest-ranked conference champions will be seeded 1-4 with first-round byes. The next four highest-ranked teams (Nos. 5-8) will host the first-round matchups. The CFP Selection Committee will continue to determine weekly ratings with criteria to be reevaluated in the future.

In its original statement regarding playoff expansion the, CFP committee announced that first-round games could be moved from host campuses for "logistical purposes" in the future. Stadium upgrades like the ones at Wisconsin and Penn State could become more commonplace as universities try to hedge against bad weather costing them a lucrative opportunity to host a postseason game.