Levi’s right fit for 2019 college football title game

Levi’s Stadium has been selected to host the College Football Playoff National Championship in January 2019. (Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP)

Unlike the 49ers, Levi’s Stadium is having no trouble winning its competitions.

Santa Clara will host the College Football national championship game in January 2019, joining Atlanta and New Orleans as winning sites from a group of nine cities and regions that were vying for the event.

Bill Hancock, executive director of the College Football Playoff, said Wednesday that representatives of the group will be onsite in the Bay Area during the lead-up to Super Bowl 50 to check out transportation, hotels and stadium operations.

“We’re going to learn a great deal from that Super Bowl,” Hancock said.

Northern California has never hosted a college football championship game.

“It shows we’re serious in our desire to move this around,” Hancock said.

Numerous music shows and entertainment events, such as WrestleMania and an outdoor NHL game, have been held at the $1.3-billion stadium since the 49ers debuted there last year.

“We couldn’t be more proud for Levi’s Stadium to be selected as the host of the College Football Playoff National Championship in 2019, especially considering the outstanding competition we faced,” said 49ers COO Al Guido. “When we designed and developed the plan for Levi’s Stadium, hosting large-scale events of national and international significance like the CFP were central to our planning so today’s announcement is incredibly meaningful to us. We are extremely humbled to add the CFP National Championship to our roster of high-profile sporting events.”

The Atlanta Falcons’ new stadium, which will open in 2017, will be the site of the championship game scheduled for Jan. 8, 2018. The New Orleans Superdome will be the site of the January 2020 championship game.

The playoff management committee, comprised of the FBS conference commissioners and Notre Dame’s athletic director, also considered bids from South Florida (Sun Life Stadium), Houston (NRG Stadium), Minneapolis (U.S. Bank Stadium), Detroit (Ford Field), Charlotte (Bank of American Stadium) and San Antonio (Alamodome).

“Any of the nine could have hosted this event,” Hancock said.

Bidding communities were guaranteeing between $13 million and $18 million to the College Football Playoff.

This season’s championship game will be held Jan. 11 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., which is also the site of the Fiesta Bowl. Next season’s championship game will be played at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., home of the NFL’s Buccaneers.

Each of the first six championship games will be held in different states.

“I think it’s important that fans in as many parts of the country as possible get a chance to see this event,” Hancock said.

Though none of the games will be played in northern cities. Hancock said they were given serious consideration, but there were logistical stumbling blocks for Minneapolis and Detroit.

Atlanta (Peach Bowl) and New Orleans (Sugar Bowl) already host bowl games that are part of the playoff semifinal rotation. Atlanta is also bidding to host the 2019 or 2020 Super Bowl in the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

“The opportunity to play in the brand new stadium, state-of-the-art stadium” was one of the main reasons Atlanta was chosen, Hancock said.

Hancock said the longtime relationship between the Sugar Bowl and the conferences, which dates back to the Bowl Championship Series, was not a deciding factor in awarding the 2020 game to New Orleans.

“An excellent bid that people worked very hard on,” Hancock said. “A community people have enjoyed in the past. Concise, walkable downtown footprint.”

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

In Other News