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Representatives of the New Orleans delegation pose with the ceremonial CFP helmet at a news conference on Jan. 8, 2019 in San Jose, Calif., to kickoff the city's hosting of the CFP championship game on Jan. 13, 2020. From left to right: Sugar Bowl COO Jeff Hundley, Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation President Jay Cicero, Sugar Bowl President-elect Monique Morial, Sugar Bowl President Rod West, New Orleans Mayor's Office Chief of Staff John Pourciau and GNOSF Chairman Sherriff Paul Valteau Jr.

SAN JOSE, Calif. — The helmet has been passed to New Orleans.

An official from the College Football Playoff National Championship Game Bay Area organizing committee handed off a ceremonial helmet to Sugar Bowl President Rod West at a news conference Tuesday, launching the year-long run-up to the 2020 CFP championship game’s first trip to the Crescent City.

The game will be Monday, Jan. 13, 2020, in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Allstate Sugar Bowl, part of the six-bowl rotation for CFP semifinal games, will also happen as usual on New Year’s Day.

“New Orleans time and time again has proven it is well-suited to host prestigious events such as this,” said West, who himself will hand off the Sugar Bowl presidency to Monique Morial in February. “We take great pride in making guests feel right at home, and as we all know from past experience we know how to throw one heck of a party.”

This will be the first time the college football national championship is decided in New Orleans since Alabama beat LSU 21-0 in the 2012 BCS championship game. The city hosted four BCS championship games, and three times before that, the Nos. 1 and 2 teams in The Associated Press poll met in the Sugar Bowl.

“We’re excited to be in position to host another championship event,” said Sugar Bowl COO Jeff Hundley, who takes over as CEO from the retiring Paul Hoolahan on July 1. “It will be our first time with the CFP game and we are eager to prove to the college football world once again that we are a great venue for these events.”

New Orleans must still work out a lot of particulars for the championship weekend, Hundley said, including sites for other events associated with the championship game. Hundley said the game has grown since 2015, when New Orleans won the bid to host.

“We will have to learn and adjust,” Hundley said. “The event we bid for several years ago is very different from the event today.”

After a drought of major sporting events in New Orleans in recent years, the CFP championship game kicks off a string of high-profile championships returning to the Crescent City.

Less than three months after the CFP game, New Orleans will host the NCAA Women’s Final Four from April 3-5, 2020, at the Smoothie King Center. It will mark a record fourth time a city has hosted that event.

The NCAA Men’s Final Four returns to the Superdome in 2022. It will be the sixth Final Four in the Superdome and first since 2012. Finally, Super Bowl LVIII will be in the Superdome on Feb. 4, 2024. It will be a record 11th Super Bowl for New Orleans and the first since February 2013, when the Baltimore Ravens beat the San Francisco 49ers, with a memorable partial blackout in the middle of the game.

“We have been in a bit of a sabbatical, but this kicks off a run of several fabulous events that will have a great economic impact on our city,” Hundley said.

Big-time events headed to the Big Easy

• Jan. 13, 2020  CFP National Championship Game

• April 3-5, 2020 — NCAA Women’s Final Four

• April 2-4, 2022  NCAA Men’s Final Four

• Feb. 4, 2024  Super Bowl LVIII

Future CFP championship game sites

• Jan. 13, 2020  New Orleans

• Jan. 11, 2021 — Miami

• Jan. 10, 2022  Indianapolis

• Jan. 9, 2023  Los Angeles

• Jan. 8, 2024 — Houston

Follow Scott Rabalais on Twitter, @RabalaisAdv.​