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Atlanta lands 2018 College Football Playoff National Championship

Michael Niziolek

mniziolek@ledger-enquirer.com

The College Football Playoff announced the locations for the National Championship game in 2018, 2019 and 2020 in Chicago Wednesday afternoon.

Atlanta was selected to host the 2018 title game at the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Jan. 8, 2018.

“This is a very exciting day for everyone involved and a huge win for the Atlanta community,” executive director of the Atlanta Sports Council Dan Corso said, in a statement.

Santa Clara will host the 2019 national championship at Levi’s Stadium, and the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans was selected as the location for the 2020 Championship Game.

“Atlanta, the Bay Area and New Orleans have much to offer and will welcome the participating teams and fans with warm support and exceptional facilities,” College Football Playoff (CFP) executive director Bill Hancock said, in a statement. “We look forward to bringing college football’s showcase event to these three communities.”

The CFP’s management committee used a bid process to select venues for the annual title game. It received proposals from nine areas -- Atlanta, the Bay Area, Charlotte, Detroit, Houston, Minnesota, New Orleans, San Antonio and South Florida.

“This was an extremely competitive process among the nine wonderful communities,” Hancock said. “We were pleased and honored by the time and energy that the people in all of the cities put into their bids.”

Atlanta’s bid for the 2018 national title game was submitted in May, and won over bids from Houston, Miami and Santa Clara.

Atlanta put together a committee with representatives of the Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau, Atlanta Falcons, Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, Georgia Tech and the Georgia World Congress Center Authority to represent them during the process.

CFP officials visited Atlanta in July, and toured event venues, hotels, the Mercedes-Benz Stadium preview center and the construction site.

“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,” Corso said. “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.”

Mercedes-Benz Stadium is scheduled to open in March 2017. Construction on the Atlanta Falcons’ new facility started in May of 2014.

Earlier this fall, the SEC announced a new 10-year agreement to keep the conference’s annual title game at the new state of the art field. The game has been played at the Georgia Dome since 1994.

Atlanta also hosts the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, which is part of the six-bowl semifinal rotation for the CFP. The Georgia Dome will host its first semifinal game on Dec. 31, 2016.

Michael Niziolek covers Auburn football for the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer. Email him at mniziolek@ledger-enquirer.com or follow him on Twitter, Facebook or Google

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