The first National Championship Game in the new NCAA College Football Playoff will be played in Arlington, Texas on January 12, 2015 at Cowboys Stadium. The stadium has been home to the AT&T Cotton Bowl since 2010 and has already hosted tremendous sporting events such as Super Bowl XLV, the NBA All Star Game, and the 2013 NCAA Men’s Basketball South Regional.
“We couldn’t be more excited about bringing college football’s biggest game to Cowboys Stadium,” said Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. “It is an honor and a privilege to have been selected to host the first national championship as part of the new playoff structure. This is a major win for our region.”
“The first championship game of the College Football Playoff era is going to be very special, and Cowboys Stadium is a wonderful place to host the first game,” said Bill Hancock, executive director of the NCAA College Football Playoff in an official announcement on April 24, 2013. “We’re also pleased to announce the three other bowls that will be part of the College Football Playoff, because rotating the event means more fans in more cities can experience it in person.”
“Cowboys Stadium was just officially awarded the College Football National Championship game,” noted Stephen Jones, Dallas Cowboys executive vice president and key member of the behind-the-scenes team in Arlington which worked to bring the Championship Game to Arlington. “Coming only 10 months after the Final Four our stadium certainly is becoming known for hosting the biggest and best events in the world. We were joined in the bid process by our friends at the AT&T Cotton Bowl and we can’t thank them enough for their efforts in helping North Texas and Cowboys Stadium secure the game.
“More than anything though, I know a lot of work will go into making the first College Football Playoff National Championship game a huge success. We should all take great pride in hosting the first one and hopefully many more to come.”
The AT&T Cotton Bowl, along with the Fiesta Bowl and Chick-fil-A Bowl have been selected to be part of the six-bowl rotation that will host the College Football Playoff, and each bowl will host a national semifinal once every three years. The national championship game will be held in a different city each year with Arlington hosting the inaugural game. The Rose Bowl and the Sugar Bowl have previously been chosen to host the first national semifinals, on January 1, 2015. The winners of those two games will face off in the first championship game two weeks later at Cowboys Stadium.
The College Football Playoff will begin with the 2014-2015 season and will feature the four top teams as selected by a yet-to-be-named selection committee.
Arlington can already boast a strong college football tradition even though the $1.2 billion Cowboys Stadium opened only four years ago in 2009. In addition to the annual AT&T Cotton Bowl played each January, the venue has also hosted great matchups like ESPN’s annual Cowboys Classic played each September to kickoff the college football season. The upcoming Cowboys Classic in 2013 features the LSU Tigers versus the TCU Horned Frogs on August 31st.
Previous Cowboys Classics have included: Alabama vs Michigan, Oregon vs LSU, TCU vs Oregon State, and Oklahoma vs BYU.
Anther great college football game coming to Cowboys Stadium in 2013 is Notre Dame vs Arizona State on October 5, followed by Baylor vs Texas Tech on November 16.
The 2014 AT&T Cotton Bowl will be played on January 3rd. Other big events in 2014 include: Florida State vs Oklahoma State in the 2014 Cowboys Classic on August 30; Texas vs UCLA on September 13, 2014; Texas A&M vs Arkansas (date t.b.a.); and Baylor vs Texas Tech (date t.b.a.).
Arlington and Cowboys Stadium have already hosted annual rivalry games between the Aggies/Razorbacks and Bears/Red Raiders.
The first College Football Playoff Championship Game is the first of three major college football games to be played in 2015 in Arlington. Alabama and Wisconsin will meet at Cowboys Stadium on September 5 in the 2015 Cowboys Classic, and the 2015 AT&T Cotton Bowl will host the national semifinal game.
The AT&T Cotton Bowl offices are located inside Cowboys Stadium (you can see the lobby of the office as well as the trophy and other memorabilia as part of the official Cowboys Stadium Tour). Officials with the Cotton Bowl estimate the economic impact of hosting the game at $30 million annually.
As for a national championship game, the economic stakes are even higher. The Dallas Morning News reports that Arizona State University estimated the impact of the 2011 BCS Championship Game played in Glendale, Arizona at $188 million.
Arlington officials teamed with The Dallas Cowboys and the Cotton Bowl Classic in 2012 to form Stadium Events Organizing, a non-profit organization to bring the national championship game to Cowboys Stadium. The organization’s planning and hard work has paid off handsomely for North Texas as well as fans of college football.
The Arlington Convention & Visitors Bureau looks forward to helping fans plan their visits to Cowboys Stadium for future games and/or tours of Cowboys Stadium. Hotels can be booked on-line at www.ExperienceArlington.org.