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Allstate Sugar Bowl Readies for College Football Playoff Events

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

With a College Football Playoff Semifinal this season and the College Football National Championship following the 2019 season, the Allstate Sugar Bowl and the city of New Orleans will once again have the spotlight of the college football world on them.

While the Allstate Sugar Bowl is focusing on this year's game (January 1, 2018), which will double as a Playoff Semifinal game, the organization is also deep in planning for the city's hosting of the College Football Playoff (CFP) National Championship on January 13, 2020. The CFP title game will be the sixth championship game in the new College Football Playoff format which went into effect following the 2014 college football season. It will mark the 28th time that New Orleans has hosted a college football national champion - the previous 27 champs played in either the Allstate Sugar Bowl or the Allstate BCS Championship. The College Football Playoff Management Committee decision was announced in 2015.

The Allstate Sugar Bowl spearheaded the bid effort for the 2020 game with support from the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation; SMG, the management company of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome; the New Orleans Saints; the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center; the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau; and the New Orleans Tourism and Marketing Corporation; as well as multiple government agencies on the state and local level.

The New Orleans College Football National Championship Host Committee, led by the Allstate Sugar Bowl and the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation, will coordinate the event. The Sugar Bowl Committee has agreed to provide the majority of the funding for the National Championship but will receive assistance from the State of Louisiana as well as private sources.

"We're pleased to again have the opportunity to crown college football's national champion in New Orleans" said Jeff Hundley, the Sugar Bowl's Chief Operating Officer and the Executive Director for the New Orleans Host Committee for the 2020 CFP National Championship. "This is good news for the city and state as the National Championship and its many surrounding events will produce a significant boost for the area economy and provide another strong platform for showcasing New Orleans and Louisiana to thousands of visitors and millions of television viewers.

New Orleans has become a city of champions by hosting 10 Super Bowls, five NCAA Men's Final Fours and three NCAA Women's Final Fours in addition to the multiple national championship Sugar Bowls. The Sugar Bowl, which had its start on January 1, 1935, hosted four BCS National Championship games (2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012) as well as three other games which featured the No. 1 vs. No. 2 teams in the AP Polls (1979, 1983, 1993). In addition to that, the Bowl welcomed 20 other national champion teams - teams that either captured the title with a victory in the Sugar Bowl; had already been declared the national champion before the bowl, which happened regularly in the early years of college football; or earned the national title after winning a College Football Playoff Semifinal in the Allstate Sugar Bowl (Ohio State following the 2014 season).

When the Sugar Bowl Committee hosted the Allstate BCS National Championship game in January of 2012, the economic impact for the region was over $260 million. That game, between LSU and Alabama, was tabbed by some as the largest sporting event ever in the South. Over the last decade, the Sugar Bowl has generated over $2.5 billion in economic impact as well as over $200 million in state and city tax revenue.

New Orleans has long been a coveted destination for travelers and continues to collect an impressive array of honors and awards. In addition to being honored as North America's Leading Sports Tourism Destination, the Crescent City has been named the World's Best City (Travel&Leisure Magazine), a Top 10 City to Visit in 2015 (Rough Guides), a Top 25 City in the World (Conde Nast Traveler) and one of the 20 Best Places to Travel in the World (National Geographic), while a trip to New Orleans was named one of the Six Trips That Will Change Your Life (Coastal Living Magazine).

The College Football Playoff was established in the spring of 2013 to replace the Bowl Championship Series, which had been in existence for 16 years and each year enabled the No. 1 and No. 2 college football teams in the country to play in a postseason bowl game. Beginning with the 2014 season, the College Football Playoff ushered in a four-team playoff era. The format is simple: the best four teams play two semifinal games followed by the College Football Championship Game. The semifinal games rotate among six current bowl games (Sugar, Rose, Cotton, Orange, Peach and Fiesta), while the Championship is up for bid to any interested city. The Allstate Sugar Bowl hosted one of the first Playoff Semifinals following the 2014 season and the sold-out event was viewed by over 28 million television viewers, at the time, the largest cable television audience in history. The Sugar Bowl will also host semifinal games following the 2017, 2020 and 2023 seasons.

A selection committee chooses the four teams for the playoff based on body of work, strength of schedule, head-to-head results, comparison of results against common opponents, championships won and other factors. In addition, the Selection Committee places deserving teams in the other four bowls that are part of the format.


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