Sun Life Stadium is undergoing a major face-lift, with the goal of remaining one of the nation's go-to spots for hosting major sporting events. Before the Dolphins organization gets to bid for another Super Bowl, the stadium's first major test will be bidding for the 2018 and 2020 College Football Playoff (CFP) championship games.
Miami and Sun Life Stadium hosted the college football championship game every four years under the old BCS system. Under the CFP system, Miami is guaranteed to host a playoff game only once every three years. The championship game is now open to any city with a 65,000-plus-seat stadium.
Miami had previously bid to host the 2017 game but lost out to Tampa and Raymond James Stadium.
According to ESPN, Miami will try again, for the 2018 and 2020 games. The Orange Bowl will be used as a playoff game in 2019, so Miami is ineligible to host the game that year.
Fourteen cities are considering making bids for the three games from 2018 to 2020, and seven, including Miami, have already decided to bid. Atlanta, Charlotte, Jacksonville, Minneapolis, and San Antonio are among Miami's competitors. Bids are due by May, and the winners will be announced in October.
Sun Life Stadium is also bidding to host the 2019 and 2020 Super Bowls, but those decisions won't be announced until May 2016.
So the CFP championship game bidding process will be the first test of whether Stephen Ross' renovations will be enough to lure big events back to the stadium. The renovations were initiated after NFL brass publicly said that Miami would never host another Super Bowl game again unless major changes were made to the venue.
Under a deal with Miami-Dade County, the Dolphins will receive a $3 million finder's fee for every CFP championship game the stadium hosts.
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