The city of Atlanta beat out other major cities to win the rights to host the College Football Playoff National Championship game in January 2018, city and team officials announced.
The game will be played at the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium, the future home of the Atlanta Falcons. The stadium is projected to be completed in 2017.
Atlanta edged out out Miami, Houston and Santa Clara, Calif., (near the Bay Area) to hold the gridiron contest between college football’s two best teams.
“This is a very exciting day for everyone involved and a huge win for the Atlanta community,” said Dan Corso, Executive Director of the Atlanta Sports Council, according to AtlantaFalcons.com. “The bid process, which began in February of this year, was truly a team effort and we could not be more proud of the group of partners we have here in Atlanta. Together, we look forward to working with the College Football Playoff to host an unforgettable event and showcasing all that Atlanta has to offer as a host city.”
The game will be the third major college event scheduled to be held in the new $1.5 billion stadium. Atlanta Sports Council has not yet released projections of the game’s economic impact, but noted the game had a nearly $300 million impact in Dallas.
The Atlanta Bid Committee included representatives of the Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau, Atlanta Falcons, Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl,Georgia Tech and the Georgia World Congress Center Authority.
“We are excited and proud to host the 2018 College Football Playoff National Championship in Mercedes-Benz Stadium,” said Arthur Blank, owner of the Atlanta Falcons, Atlanta United FC and Atlanta Falcons Stadium Company, developer and operator of Mercedes-Benz Stadium. “We promise to offer a first-class experience for teams, fans, media and business partners, and we will do everything we can to take this championship game to the next level in 2018.”
Santa Clara, Calif., will host the College Football Playoff National Championship in 2019 and New Orleans will host the game in 2020.
In September, the Southeastern Conference, along with AMB Sports & Entertainment and the Georgia World Congress Center Authority, announced an agreement to host the SEC Football Championship Game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta through 2026.
The Southeastern Conference (SEC) title game will be played at the Georgia Dome in 2015 and 2016, and then move to the Falcon’s new home, Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The new agreement allows the SEC the option of adding up to two successive five-year extensions.
Then, on Nov. 14, Atlanta landed the 2020 Men’s Final Four — its fifth, which is set for April 4-6.