Arizona has been selected to host the 2016 College Football National Championship, and Tampa has been chosen to host the event in 2017. “The Championship Game will be a significant event on the American calendar—not only the sports calendar, but also the cultural calendar,” said Bill Hancock, executive director of the College Football Playoff. “The BCS championship has been the second most-watched annual sports event in the United States, trailing only the Super Bowl, and the playoff game will rise to a new level. Fans across the nation hope their teams will make it, and many set their travel schedules around it. It’s a real feather in the cap of the community that earns the right to host it.

The 2016 game will be staged January 11 at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, home to the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals. The 2017 game will be held January 9 at Raymond James Stadium, home to the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The College Football Playoff will begin with the 2014–2015 season and will feature the four top teams as selected by the College Football Playoff Selection Committee, whose membership was announced in October. The Rose Bowl and the Sugar Bowl will host the first national semifinals, which will pit No. 1 versus No. 4 and No. 2 versus No. 3 on January 1, 2015. The winners of those two games will face off in the first National Championship Game of the playoff era at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on January 12, 2015.