New Orleans among 9 bidding to host playoff championship

DESTIN, Fla. (AP) — New Orleans is among nine cities and regions bidding to host College Football Playoff championship games.

Atlanta, Houston, San Antonio, Detroit, Minneapolis, South Florida, Charlotte, North Carolina, and the Bay Area in California also are vying to host the 2018, ’19 and ’20 title games. All those sites had been previously reported as intending to bid, though the deadline to submit a bid was Wednesday.

College Football Playoff Executive Director Bill Hancock made the bids official at the Southeastern Conference spring meetings.

New Orleans was the last to jump in to the mix. Organizers were waiting on a commitment of financial support from the state to make help cover a portion of the bid that will cost about $15 million. The Sugar Bowl covers about 70 percent of the bid.

This season’s championship game will be held in Glendale, Arizona, at University of Phoenix Stadium. The championship game after the 2016 season will be played at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. The first championship game was played at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Like North Texas (Cotton Bowl) and Arizona (Fiesta Bowl), Atlanta (Peach Bowl), South Florida (Orange Bowl) and New Orleans (Sugar Bowl) host bowls that are part of the College Football Playoff semifinal rotation. Hancock said that doesn’t necessarily give those sites an advantage in the bidding process.

“We will be looking at the basics: air service, hotels, the abilities of the city to put on a big event,” Hancock said. “And that’s where having had big events like BCS games and CFP games could come into play. But in my mind nobody has any advantage in this race.”

The three championship sites will be announced in the fall, Hancock said.

“We’d like to move it around,” Hancock said. “We’d like to bring the top level of college football to as many parts of the country as we can.”

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