It was the first big play for a sports event for the new Vikings stadium and Minnesota couldn't convert. Tampa Bay gets the ball.
The College Football Playoff has announced the sites for the 2016 and 2017 games: they're going to the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., on Monday, January 11, 2016 and to Raymond James Stadium in Tampa on Monday, January 9, 2017. Those are the second and third iterations of the new college football championship set to start next season and establish the football equivalent of the NCAA's celebrated Final Four basketball tournament.
The Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority had been hoping for that 2017 selection, since the stadium won't open until the summer of 2016. MSFA chairwoman Michele Kelm-Heglen said on Friday she feared the state would face stiff competition from warm-weather rivals, like California, Texas and Florida.
And that's pretty much what happened.
The College Football Playoff doesn't get much further north than Dallas for now. The Rose Bowl in Pasadena and the Superdome in New Orleans will host the first national semifinals on January 1, 2015. The winners in those two games will be going to the National Championship Game at AT&T Stadium, the home of the Cowboys, on Jan. 12, 2015.
Here's the list of bidders the playoff selection committee was considering:
San Francisco Area (Levi's Stadium)
Jacksonville (EverBank Field)
Minneapolis (Vikings Stadium)
San Antonio (Alamodome)
South Florida (Sun Life Stadium)
Tampa Bay (Raymond James Stadium)
Minnesota IS still in the running for the Super Bowl in 2018, 2019 and 2020. The MSFA is also bidding for the NCAA Final Four in 2017 and 2018.