Tampa interested in hosting college football national title game

10:56 AM, May 11, 2012   |    comments
The Waterford Crystal BCS trophy is valued at $30,000 and is very fragile.
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(CBS Sports) -- Having already successfully hosted four Super Bowls, Tampa, Florida, is prepared to make a run at holding college football's national championship as well should the event go out to a bid.

College football is expected to have a four-team playoff beginning after the 2014 regular season and existing BCS bowl games and neutral sites will be considered "under a competitive bid process" to host the championship game.

"To say we're interested in being a part of the conversation would be an understatement," said Rob Higgins, executive director of the Tampa Bay Sports Commission. "We'll continue to monitor the discussion and we'll be ready to present our case if given the opportunity to do so."

Tampa is among several sites that have expressed interest in hosting college football's national championship. Indianapolis' Lucas Oil Stadium, Detroit's Ford Field and St. Louis' Edward Jones Dome also would pursue the game, ESPN.com reported.

Tampa officials are banking on the Tampa Bay area's history in hosting past Super Bowls along with the annual Outback Bowl at Raymond James Stadium.

"In our opinion, our stadium, weather, hotels and experience in hosting major events, creates an ideal backdrop for a future national championship," said Ken Hagan, chairman of Hillsborough Board of County Commissioners.

Tampa officials could also tout the area's January weather (average temperature in the 70s) and the abundance of entertainment options (golf courses, fishing, beaches) for the corporate sponsors that other possible sites in the Midwest and Southwest couldn't provide. The headquarter hotel, team hotels and practice facilities would all be within a few minutes of the stadium, which could also give Tampa a logistical advantage over other venues.

Brett McMurphy, CBS Sports

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