The four-team college football playoff is set to begin after the 2014 regular season, and the group that oversees the playoff has now invited 31 bowls to bid for the right to host semifinal games. They can also bid on other games to be played on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day.
The deadline for the bowls to submit their proposals has been set for March 27, 2013, which is just under two weeks away.
In order for bowls to host a game in the new playoff structure, they will need a stadium with a capacity of at least 65,000. Bowls that are selected to participate in the new format will host a national semifinal game once every three years and a non-playoff bowl game in other years.
“This is about giving as many fans as possible the opportunity to enjoy the new playoff and the other bowls in person,” said Bill Hancock, Executive Director of the BCS and the future playoff. “A rotating event means more fans in more places will be able to experience the excitement of the new playoff. Because of the criteria, we don’t expect every bowl to proceed with a bid, but we want to extend an offer to all that are part of the college football bowl tradition.”
Although 31 bowls are free to bid for the three spots after the 2014 season, ESPN’s Brett McMurphy thinks they are already spoken for:
BCS says 31 bowls may bid for right to host semifinals in playoff. Doesn’t matter: 3 open spots will go to Fiesta, Cotton & Chick-fil-A
— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) March 15, 2013
The BCS also announced today that the Orange Bowl will host a semifinal game after the 2015 regular season. The host for the second semifinal that season has yet to be named.
In January, BCS Commissioners announced that the Rose Bowl and the Sugar Bowl will host the first playoff semifinals on Thursday, January 1, 2015. The AT&T Cotton Bowl was said to be the “prohibitive favorite” to host the first national title game, but an official announcement has yet to be made. The national championship game will be played in a different city each season.