A bold prediction: In 2017 the national champion of college football will emerge from Tampa Bay. The University of South Florida Bulls? Maybe, but it will happen for sure.
That’s because the 2017 national championship game will be held at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, scoring a potential economic bonanza for the area.
Tampa was selected over five other cities for the big game (Jan. 9, 2017): San Francisco/Santa Clara, Jacksonville, Minneapolis, San Antonio and Miami. In doing so, Tampa becomes the first city that doesn’t host one of the College Football Playoff’s six major bowls to host a national title game. Each year the Outback Bowl is played in Tampa, which has also hosted four Super Bowls. The commissioners of the 10 Football Bowl Subdivision conferences and Notre Dame Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick voted on the sites.
In 2015, the first year the NCAA moves to the four-team College Football Playoff, Arlington, Texas, will serve as host, followed by Glendale, Ariz., in 2016.
Why such a big deal? The playoff system has been highly anticipated and promises riches, not only to the winning team but also the host city. The economic impact for each previous championship game has been reported at more than $200 million.