Cowboys Stadium to play host to first championship game in new format

The first title game in the College Football Playoff will be held on Jan. 12, 2015. The Rose Bowl will get four semifinal games in a 12-year cycle, but is unlikely to get a championship game.

Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, will play host to the first championship game in the new College Football Playoff.

"The stadium itself was the biggest determiner," Bowl Championship Series Executive Director Bill Hancock said after the announcement Wednesday. "It's still THE stadium with a capital 'T'."

It helped immensely that Cowboys Stadium can seat 103,000 for football. The game will be staged Jan. 12, 2015, and marks the start of a Super Bowl-like venue rotation. Cowboys Stadium edged out Tampa for the first game.

Six bowls from the current BCS system will play host to annual semifinals. It was announced Wednesday that the Fiesta, Cotton and Chick-fil-A bowls will join the Rose, Sugar and Orange bowls in the rotation.

The Rose Bowl, which will play host to its 100th game and also the final BCS title game this season, will get four semifinal games in the 12-year cycle, including the first. But it might not host another title game. "It's going to be very difficult for us," Rose Bowl executive Kevin Ash said.

The Rose Bowl, which will have hosted four title games in the BCS era, could not bid on the first College Football Playoff game because bowls cannot host title games in consecutive years.

Most championship bids are money losers for the host venues. The trade-off is civic pride and local economic impact.

The Rose Bowl might not have the financial flexibility or civic synergy to get involved in the title process. "We're dealing with a different model than we're used to," Ash said.

The new lineup will guarantee three major bowls on New Year's Eve and three on New Year's Day. The Rose and Sugar bowls will play host to the first semifinal games on Jan. 1, 2015, followed by Orange-Cotton the Orange and Cotton bowls the next season and then the Fiesta and Chick-fil-A bowls.

chris.dufresne@latimes.com

 

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