Irving, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - Bill Hancock, executive director of the College Football Playoff, announced Monday that Arizona was selected to host the 2016 National Championship Game, while Tampa Bay was selected to host the 2017 title tilt.
The 2016 game will be played at the University of Phoenix Stadium, where the Arizona Cardinals play their home games, on Jan. 11, 2016. The Orange Bowl and the Cotton Bowl will host the College Football Playoff semifinals that year.
The 2017 game will be in Tampa Bay at Raymond James Stadium, the Buccaneers' home field, on Jan. 9, 2017. The Chick-fil-A Bowl and Fiesta Bowl will host the semifinals that year.
"It was a difficult decision for the management committee, because there were many good options, but Arizona and Tampa Bay were selected because of their top-notch facilities and because of the thorough proposals their leaders submitted," Hancock said. "We were impressed by all the bids and we know communities' interest will only increase in the coming years."
The College Football Playoff will begin with the 2014-2015 season and will feature the four top teams as selected by the College Football Playoff Selection Committee.
The Rose Bowl and the Sugar Bowl will host the initial national semifinals, while the first National Championship Game of the playoff era will be played at AT&T Stadium, the home of the Dallas Cowboys, on Jan. 12, 2015.