College Football Playoff executives soon will solicit bids for future national championship venues and Arlington, site of the inaugural title game of the playoff era in 2015, is expected to be in the mix for the 2017 game.
Rick Baker, president of the AT&T Cotton Bowl and one of the individuals involved with a potential bid to host the 2017 game, said Tuesday that officials are performing their due diligence in preparation for a possible bid.
“We’re going to take a good, hard look at it,” said Baker, adding that talks are ongoing with city officials in Arlington and other municipalities that would be involved in providing hotels to support the contest.
The inaugural title game of the playoff era, set for Jan. 12, 2015, was awarded to Cowboys Stadium in April. At the time, officials expressed a desire to host additional championship games at Cowboys Stadium and Baker reiterated that desire Tuesday.
“We really see even more compelling games coming in the future,” Baker said. “This stadium is going to be home to at least one championship game and, hopefully, several more down the road.”
Bill Hancock, executive director of the College Football Playoff, said Cowboys Stadium is one of multiple venues expected to bid to host title games in 2016 and 2017.
“If there’s interest, they’ll be considered,” Hancock said.
Hancock said administrators at the College Football Playoff expect to move into new office space in Irving “within two weeks.” The permanent, 6,500-square-foot home for playoff executives will be on the 10th floor on a 15-floor building in Irving, not far from the headquarters of the Big 12 or Conference USA. Currently, playoff officials are working out of temporary headquarters in the C-USA office.
In addition, Hancock said the crystal football of the BCS era will be replaced with a different trophy in the playoff era to underscore the “new beginning.” The inaugural selection committee of the playoff era, expected to have 12-18 members, is not expected to be finalized until November or later, Hancock said.
_ Jimmy Burch