'An iconic city in college football': New Orleans chosen as site of 2020 College Football Playoff title game _lowres

Advocate photo by VERONICA DOMINACH -- The Mercedes-Benz Superdome

New Orleans is back in the national championship game business.

The city was awarded the 2020 College Football Playoff title game on Wednesday, beating out five other contenders.

"New Orleans is an iconic city in college football. Excellent bid," CFP's Bill Hancock said.

It will be the 24th time the national champion has been involved in a game in New Orleans. But the 2020 game in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome will be the first one since Alabama and LSU met for the 2011 BCS title.

The game will be played on Monday, Jan. 13, 2020 in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

It is also the first time the title game will be played outside the direct auspices of the Allstate Sugar Bowl, although Sugar Bowl Chief Operating Officers Jeff Hundley was chairman on the local organizing committee which put together the bid.

“We were getting a little anxious, but glad that it worked out in the end,” Hundley said. “But this is a very rewarding day.

“A lot of hard work, thought and effort was put into the bid to try to meet the expectations of the CFP. Ultimately we felt that the selection today proves that we were right on target.”

Santa Clara, California, home of Levi’s Stadium received the 2019 game, which New Orleans had also bid on, while Atlanta will be the site of the 2018 championship. The Sugar Bowl is a CFP semifinal site that season and could not host both games.

Minneapolis, Houston, San Antonio, Charlotte, North Carolina, and Santa Clara were the other bidders for the 2020 game.

Landing the game broke a streak of local misfortune in the New Orleans’ pursuit of major sports events.

The city had sought the 2015 and 2015 CFP title games which went instead to Glendale, Arizona and Tampa, the 2018 Super Bowl, which went to Minneapolis and any of the 2017-2021 Final Fours.

With the 2020 CFP berth in place, the next local Super Bowl bid will be for the 2019 game. Atlanta, which is opening a new stadium in 2017, is widely expected to get that game, which will be awarded next year.

The 2022 Final Four also is scheduled to be awarded in 2016 and New Orleans will be bidding on it.

CFP Executive Director Bill Hancock made the announcement following a vote by the 10 FBS conference commissioners plus Notre Dame Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick at their meeting in Chicago.

While bidding for either the 2019 or 2020 CFP title game, local officials had earlier indicated a preference for 2020 because of hotel issues in 2019, but those had been worked out, Hundley said.