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Tampa a finalist to host new college title game

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Published:   |   Updated: March 26, 2013 at 03:01 PM
TAMPA -

Tampa and Arlington, Texas, are the finalists to host the first championship game in college football?s new four-team playoff on Jan. 12, 2015.

Cowboys Stadium, home field of the NFL?s Dallas Cowboys, is considered the heavy favorite. So much so that only Tampa and Arlington bid for the game, even though a half-dozen other sites showed interest.

But Tampa's Raymond James Stadium has a strong track record, having hosted two Super Bowls. Also, two previous Super Bowls were held at the old Tampa Stadium.

The Bowl Championship Series commissioners are expected to name the site during their April 23-25 meetings in Pasadena, Calif.

"We're always interested in bringing world class sporting events to our community," said Rob Higgins, executive director of the Tampa Bay Sports Commission.

Tampa could be a contender for the 2016 or 2017 championship games, but those sites won't be named next month.

The Tampa Bay area has hosted a myriad of college championship events, including the 1999 men's basketball Final Four, the 2008 women's basketball Final Four, the 2012 hockey Frozen Four, the 2007 Atlantic Coast Conference men's basketball tournament and the 2009 Southeastern Conference men's basketball tournament.

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