HOUSTON (FOX 26) - Although Houston was considered a candidate city to host a College Football Playoff national championship game in either 2018, 2019 and 2020, three other cities will get those respective honors. Atlanta, New Orleans and Santa Clara, California, were selected to host those College Football Playoff national championship games.
"We're not going to give up," said Janis Schmees Burke, Harris County - Houston Sports Authority Houston Sports Staff chief executive officer. "We're going to go after it again."
The Atlanta Falcons' new stadium, which will open in 2017, will be the site of the championship game scheduled for Jan. 8, 2018. Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, the home of the San Francisco 49ers, will host the January 2019 title game. 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, North Carolina (Bank of American Stadium) and San Antonio, Texas (Alamodome).
"Any of the nine could have hosted this event," College Football Playoff Executive Director Bill Hancock said.
Bidding communities were guaranteeing between $13 million and $18 million to the College Football Playoff.
"Houston had a terrific bid," said Hancock during a conference call on Wednesday. "It is one of those examples of how difficult this was and how close these cities were together."
This season's championship game will be held Jan. 11 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, which is also the site of the Fiesta Bowl. Next season's championship game will be played at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida, the home of the NFL's Buccaneers.
"The political consideration did not enter into this discussion in any way," said Hancock regarding the timing of the decision one day after voters overwhelmingly rejected the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance.
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 games will be played in northern cities. Hancock said they were given serious consideration, but there were logistical stumbling blocks for both Minneapolis and Detroit.
Minnesota is hosting the Super Bowl in 2018 and the NCAA men's basketball Final Four in 2019 and there was some concern among the management committee about placing the game in a city that was coming off two straight years of hosting major events.
"Given this climate and given the other cities, we didn't feel like we needed to go back-to-back-to-back," Hancock said. "It was a significant factor for them."
He said Detroit's bid for the 2019 game was hampered by the city's convention center not being available because of an auto show.
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."
Levi's Stadium in Northern California will host the Super Bowl in February. Hancock said College Football Playoff representatives will be onsite during the lead up to the Super Bowl 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.
Associated Press reporter Ralph D. Russo contributed to this report.