SAN JOSE (January 8, 2019) – The city of New Orleans will host the 2020 College Football Playoff National Championship game on January 13, 2020 in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. While New Orleans was awarded the opportunity to host the national championship in 2015, the city officially went on the clock at a Tuesday morning press conference when the Bay Area, hosts of Monday’s College Football Playoff National Championship, “passed the helmet” to New Orleans.
The event will be the sixth championship game in the new College Football Playoff format which went into effect following the 2014 college football season. It will mark the 29th time that New Orleans has hosted a college football national champion – the previous 28 played in the Allstate Sugar Bowl and the Allstate BCS Championship.
The Allstate Sugar Bowl spearheaded the bid effort for the 2020 game with major support from the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation. The New Orleans College Football National Championship Host Committee, led by the Allstate Sugar Bowl and the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation, will coordinate the event.
New Orleans has become a city of champions by hosting 10 Super Bowls, five NCAA Men’s Final Fours and three NCAA Women’s Final Fours in addition to the multiple national championship Sugar Bowls. The Sugar Bowl, which had its start on January 1, 1935, hosted four BCS National Championship games (2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012) as well as three other games which featured the No. 1 vs. No. 2 teams in the AP Polls (1979, 1983, 1993). In addition to that, the Bowl welcomed 21 other national champion teams – teams that either captured the title with a victory in the Sugar Bowl, went on to win the championship following a victory in New Orleans or had already been declared the national champion before the bowl, which happened regularly in the early years of college football.
“We’re pleased to again have the opportunity to crown college football’s national champion in New Orleans” said Jeff Hundley, the Sugar Bowl’s Chief Operating Officer and the Executive Director for the New Orleans Host Committee for the 2020 CFP National Championship. “This is good news for the city and state as the national championship and its many surrounding events will produce a significant boost for the area economy and provide another strong platform for showcasing New Orleans and Louisiana to thousands of visitors and millions of television viewers.
“At this point it’s important to thank all those who assisted in developing the winning bid. The cooperation and teamwork displayed from the State and City on down were pivotal in gaining the rights to host this game. We look forward to working with those people and so many other stakeholders in the days ahead as we show why New Orleans truly is a city of champions.”
The Allstate Sugar Bowl and the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation worked closely with entities across the city and state to construct the bid for hosting next season’s College Football Playoff National Championship Game. Other entities in support of the bid included SMG, the management company of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, the New Orleans Saints, the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau and the New Orleans Tourism and Marketing Corporation, as well as multiple government agencies on the state and local level.
The Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation has bid upon and managed multiple Super Bowls, Men’s and Women’s Final Fours and NBA All-Star Games, as well as hundreds of other sporting events in the greater New Orleans area. Together, the Allstate Sugar Bowl and the Sports Foundation’s efforts have played an important role in New Orleans’ reputation as a premiere destination for major sporting events.
When the Sugar Bowl Committee hosted the Allstate BCS National Championship game in January of 2012, the economic impact for the region was over $260 million. That game, between LSU and Alabama, was tabbed by some as the largest sporting event ever in the South. Over the last decade, the Sugar Bowl has generated over $2.5 billion in economic impact as well as over $150 million in state and city tax revenue.
New Orleans has long been a coveted destination for travelers and continues to collect an impressive array of honors and awards. In addition to being honored as North America’s Leading Sports Tourism Destination, the Crescent City has been named the World’s Best City (Travel+Leisure Magazine), a Top 10 City to Visit (Rough Guides), a Top 25 City in the World (Conde Nast Traveler) and one of the 20 Best Places to Travel in the World (National Geographic), while a trip to New Orleans was named one of the Six Trips That Will Change Your Life (Coastal Living Magazine).
The College Football Playoff was established in the spring of 2013 to replace the Bowl Championship Series, which had been in existence for 16 years and each year enabled the No. 1 and No. 2 college football teams in the country to play in a postseason bowl game. Beginning with the 2014 season, the College Football Playoff ushered in a four-team playoff era. The format is simple: the best four teams play two semifinal games followed by the College Football Championship Game. The semifinal games rotate among six current bowl games (Sugar, Rose, Cotton, Orange, Peach and Fiesta), while the Championship is up for bid to any interested city. The Allstate Sugar Bowl has hosted two Playoff Semifinals (following the 2014 and 2017 seasons); it will also host semifinal games following the 2020 and 2023 seasons.
A selection committee chooses the four teams for the playoff based on body of work, strength of schedule, head-to-head results, comparison of results against common opponents, championships won and other factors. In addition, the Selection Committee places deserving teams in the other four bowls that are part of the format.