Atlanta to host college football playoff game - KMSP-TV

Atlanta to host college football playoff game

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ATLANTA -

Another big sports event is coming to Atlanta. The Chick-fil-A Bowl was named as a semifinal host for the new college football playoffs.

Beginning in 2014, the Chick-fil-A Bowl will be part of the new six-bowl playoff system, but it won't host a semi-final game until the 2016 season. It will then host the game every three years.

Each year, a committee will determine the four teams to be represented in the two national semi-final games.

The first championship game will be held at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, the BCS conference commissioners announced Wednesday. That game will be held on Jan. 12, 2015.

Officials said they'll wait until December to decide who will host the championship game in its second year.

The Chick-fil-A Bowl was up against the Cotton, Fiesta and Holiday Bowls for the three semifinal spots in the new playoff system that will replace the current BCS system. San Diego's Holiday Bowl was left out when the announcement was made Wednesday.

"With the College Football Hall of Fame, the Chick-Fil-A Kickoff game, the new hosting semi-final games -- this now truly makes Atlanta the college football capital of the United States," said Gary Stokan, Chick-Fil-A Bowl CEO and president.

Stokan has been working for 16 years to make Atlanta a major bowl destination.  

"Our perception has changed completely because we have made commitments for the betterment of college football," Stokan said.  "People have respected that."

Those commitments include the new College Football Hall of Fame, which will be located near Centennial Olympic Park.  It's scheduled to open in 2014.  And of course, the latest project is a new, state-of-the-art, retractable roof stadium that will be built with the Falcons and a college football national championship game in mind.  

Stokan says his dream is for the city of Atlanta to host a national championship game.

The games would also pump a lot of money in the local economy, which annually gets a big boost from the Chick-fil-A Bowl.  Officials say the economic impact for the city could be over $100 million.

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