The city of Houston and Reliant Stadium plan to make a push to host college football’s new football championship game, the head of the Harris County-Houston Sports Authority said Tuesday night.
“We decided we want to aggressively pursue this opportunity for Houston,” said Janis Schmees, the executive director of the Harris County-Houston Sports Authority. “We want the decision-makers to know Houston is serious about hosting.”
With the support of local business and community leaders, Schmees said a bid committee has been formed and met Monday to discuss the next steps in the bid process.
No. 1 will play No. 4, and No. 2 will play No. 3 on Dec. 31 and/or Jan. 1. The sites of those games will rotate among the four current BCS bowls — Rose, Orange, Fiesta and Sugar — and two more to be determined. One of the new sites will likely be wherever the newly formed bowl created by the SEC and Big 12 is played, Slive said.
The Cotton Bowl, played at the $1.1 billion Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, has long wanted to be part of the BCS and is expected to make a strong push to be in the semifinal rotation.
The winners of the semis will advance to the championship on the first Monday in January that is six or more days after the last semifinal. The first “Championship Monday,” as it was called in the BCS release, is set for Jan. 12, 2015.
The site of the title game will move around the way the Super Bowl does, with cities bidding for the right to host.
The semifinal games will be played in a rotation among six bowl sites and the championship game will be offered to the highest bidding city, like the NFL does with the Super Bowl. At this point, only two games are guaranteed a spot in the semifinals rotation: the Champions Bowl (which will pit the Big 12 against the SEC) and the Rose Bowl (which pits the Big Ten versus the Pac-12). The ACC is close to finalizing an agreement with the Orange Bowl, which would also become one of the three contract games included in the rotation.
The commissioners will take bids to host the other three bowl games that will be part of the semifinals mix. The Fiesta Bowl and Sugar Bowl will probably be considered, but a source told ESPN.com that commissioners probably favored having the additional games in the Southeast, Texas and the West Coast.
Under the 12-year agreement approved by the presidents on Tuesday, each of the six bowl games would host a semifinal game four times. But a source told ESPN.com that there might be one or two more opportunities for hosting semifinals because the Rose Bowl might prefer to host its traditional Big Ten-Pac-12 matchup, instead of being included in the semifinals rotation four times.
So you have to figure that Houston and Reliant will have as good a chance as anyone. This new setup is in place through 2025, so there will be plenty of opportunities to bring the game to Houston. No clue at this point what the deadlines are or when host cities will be announced; my guess is we won’t know much till next year at the earliest. Plenty of time to get a good bid together. We’ll see how it goes.