TAMPA, FL – The College Football Playoff Group announced earlier today that Tampa Bay has been awarded the 2017 College Football National Championship. Raymond James Stadium will serve as the host venue for the Championship, which will be played on Monday, January 9, 2017.
“This is a historic announcement for our community,” said Rob Higgins, Executive Director of the Tampa Bay Sports Commission. “Our hats off to the College Football Playoff Management Committee and staff for allowing us this unique opportunity to host. We are committed to meeting and exceeding expectations.”
“The Tampa Bay area has a long history of hosting big sporting events. We are thrilled that our community will once again be showcased in the national spotlight and share in the excitement generated by the College Football National Championship Game,” said Buccaneers Co-Chairman, Bryan Glazer.
Beginning with the 2014-15 season, college football will enter a new era when a post season playoff will begin. The format is simple: top four teams, two semifinals played in bowl games, and a national championship played in a different city each year. Each semifinal will be played during the New Year’s holiday with the national championship in prime time on a Monday night at least a week later.
“We’re honored to have the opportunity to host this prestigious event,” said Ken Hagan, Hillsborough County Commissioner. “We understand the responsibility that we have undertaken as a community and we will do everything in our power to make sure that the Playoff Committee leaves here knowing that they made the right decision.”
A selection committee will choose the four teams for the playoff based on their performance during the regular season, including strength of schedule, head-to-head results, championships won, and other factors. The teams will be seeded so that #1 will play #4 in one semifinal and #2 will meet #3 in the other, with the winners advancing to the national championship. The semifinals will rotate among six different bowls, extending the experience to more fans. In the years when the bowls are not hosting semifinals, the bowls will feature eight other teams in four compelling matchups. Arlington, TX and AT&T Stadium, awarded the College Football National Championship earlier this spring, will host the inaugural playoff championship in January 2015.
“Once again, we have proven we can do anything we set our minds to,” said Bob Buckhorn, Mayor of the City of Tampa. “Events like this catapult us onto the national stage and reinforce that this really is Tampa’s time.”
A total of eight cities bid on the College Football National Championship, including San Francisco, Jacksonville, Miami, Phoenix, San Antonio, Minneapolis, New Orleans and Tampa Bay. The 2016 College Football National Championship was awarded to Glendale, AZ.