By The Associated Press, Associated Press
BCS conference commissioners have identified candidate cities to host the first championship game in college football's new postseason system, and the four current BCS bowls will be among the choices.
The current BCS games — the Fiesta, Rose, Orange and Sugar bowls — are about to enter an exclusive negotiating period.
BCS Executive Director Bill Hancock said Monday in a statement that the commissioners will begin talking to those organizers from those games immediately about the possibility of hosting the first national championship game to be played under the newly developed four-team playoff system on Jan. 15, 2015.
He did not identify other cities, but ESPN.com reported earlier Monday that the Georgia Dome in Atlanta and Dallas Cowboys Stadium would also be considered.
The original playoff plan called for open bidding for cities hoping to host the first national championship game in the new postseason format that will replace the Bowl Championship Series.
But with the first game 28 months away, and semifinal sites still to be determined, along with other details to be worked out, the commissioners decided to expedite the process.
The plan still calls for open bidding to determine the sites of subsequent title games.
The Rose Bowl, played in Pasadena, Calif., and the Orange Bowl, played in Miami, will be among the sites that host the national semifinals on a rotating basis for 12 years, starting with the 2014 season.
Five more sites will be picked, and the Fiesta Bowl in Glendale, Ariz., and the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans are expected to be among them. In years in which those sites do not host a semifinal, they will host a high-payout bowl game.
Atlanta, home of the Chick-fil-A Bowl, and Arlington, Texas, site of the Cotton Bowl, are also strong contenders to land spots in the rotation.
Both of those cities, along with Houston and San Antonio, are in the running to host the new bowl created by the Big 12 and the Southeastern Conference. New Orleans is also in the running for that game, and is considered one of the favorites to land it, along with Arlington.
The site of the so-called Champions Bowl is expected to be announced next month.
Hancock did not specify when a site for the first national championship game in the new format will be announced, only that it would be "moving ahead over the next few weeks."
He did say the selection process for the rest of the semifinal sites and subsequent championship games will begin "late this fall."
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