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Friday, March 1, 2024

Sugar Bowl Trying to Keep College Football Playoff in New Orleans

  • The Sugar Bowl Committee warned that other cities will be pursuing the CFP as it expands in the coming years.
  • “We don’t know how much we will need yet,” said Sugar Bowl Committee CEO Jeff Hundley. “But we have been told that the cost to play is going up."
A view of the Allstate Sugar Bowl Playoff Semifinal banner before the game between Clemson and Alabama in the 2018 Sugar Bowl college football playoff semifinal game at Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Amidst the rapidly changing college football landscape, one of the sport’s most traditional venues is worried it could lose out on hosting the College Football Playoff.

During a luncheon with New Orleans business leaders at the Caesars Superdome this week, Sugar Bowl Committee CEO Jeff Hundley warned that many cities — some with little historical connection to college football — will be vying to host CFP games in the future. Hundley urged these leaders to back the Sugar Bowl financially to keep the tournament there.

“Costs to participate at the highest level of postseason college football have risen dramatically over the past couple of years, and we expect them to go even higher as the College Football Playoff expands next year,” said Hundley. “We don’t know how much we will need yet. But we have been told that the cost to play is going up.”

The 90th edition of the Sugar Bowl will be played on January 1 as a CFP semifinal, and is then scheduled to host CFP quarterfinals as part of the expanded playoff format for the 2024 and 2025 seasons. After that, the future is unclear, especially with the continued tide of college football conference realignment. 

To ensure the bowl game’s future, the Sugar Bowl Committee launched a website to elicit donations and outlined four initiatives for supporters to help the cause: ticket sales, sponsorships, education support, and scholarships.

The Sugar Bowl generates an estimated $200 million in economic impact for New Orleans annually, per a release from the Sugar Bowl.

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