When it came to place bids to host a game in the College Football Playoff, Miami’s shortcomings did not come from an aging football stadium. Miami simply was beat out by superior bids.
Miami placed a bid to host the 2017 championship game, but the College Football Playoff committee opted to go with Tampa instead. The decision may have influenced the urge to renovate Miami’s Sun Life Stadium, with the hope of one day playing host to another championship game. But the state of the football stadium was not a deciding factor, according to College Football Playoff Executive Director Bill Hancock.
“There’s a misconception that somehow the stadium was a factor, and it wasn’t,” Hancock said here Friday, according to The Miami Herald.
“What happened to [Miami] in our bidding was, the two cities that got it [Glendale, Ariz., and Tampa] batted a thousand with their bids,” Hancock added. “Miami’s was a great bid but it just fell a little short of the other two.”
Miami’s Sun Life Stadium is now over a quarter-century old, first opening doors for football fans in 1987. It has served as the host site for the Orange Bowl since 1996 and currently is the home of the Miami Hurricanes and, of course, the Miami Dolphins. It also hosted the 2013 BCS National Championship between Alabama and Notre Dame and hosted WrestleMania in 2012. The stadium knows how to hold a big event, having also hosted five Super Bowls. If Miami completes some stadium renovations, it would be likely the city would be considered a top candidate for hosting a College Football Playoff championship game, but the funding needs to be there to support it. That is why Hancock says even if renovations are completed in time for the next time a hosting bid is up for grabs, it is far from a guarantee Miami will be chosen.
“Oh, you never know,” Hancock said. “All bids are different. You don’t know who they’re going to be competing against next time. Any improvement to any stadium certainly can’t hurt. But we haven’t had any issues with the stadium.”
Miami has a fine college football history. It will only be a matter of time before the College Football Playoff plays a championship game there. Host sites beyond the 2016 season have not been determined yet. AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, site of this year’s Final Four, will host the first College Football Championship Game in 2015. Glendale, Arizona will host the game in 2016 and Tampa will host the game in 2017 (for the 2016 season).