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College Football Playoff Press Release | July 28, 2016

College Football Playoff adjusts dates for semifinal playoff games

IRVING, Texas – Bill Hancock, Executive Director of the College Football Playoff (CFP), today announced a shift in scheduling to the semifinal games in years 5, 6, 11 and 12 of the rotation.

With this adjustment, all semifinals games will be played on Saturdays or holidays.

“We had healthy discussions with a lot of people who love college football and we concluded that making these changes would be the right thing to do for our fans.” said Hancock.

“We tried to do something special with New Year’s Eve, even when it fell on a weekday. But after studying this to see if it worked, we think we can do better.  These adjustments will allow more people to experience the games they enjoy so much.  For these four years, our previous call is reversed.”

Hancock pointed out that the semifinals do remain on one weekday New Year’s Eve—Friday, December 31, 2021—which will be the federally observed New Year’s holiday.

Here are the dates of the future semifinals (asterisks indicate years when the schedule has been changed):

Year Dates Bowls
2016-17 Saturday, December 31 Fiesta Bowl and Peach Bowl
2017-18 Monday, January 1 Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl
*2018-19 Saturday, December 29 Cotton Bowl and Orange Bowl
*2019-20 Saturday, December 28 Fiesta Bowl and Peach Bowl
2020-21 Friday, January 1 Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl
2021-22 Friday, December 31 Orange Bowl and Bowl TBD
2022-23 Saturday, December 31 Bowls TBD
2023-24 Monday, January 1 Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl
*2024-25 Saturday, December 28 Orange Bowl and Bowl TBD
*2025-26 Saturday, December 27 Bowls TBD

As noted above, the semifinals will be played in the Orange, Rose and Sugar Bowls at least through 2025-26. The CFP expects to determine the other semifinals sites for the 2021-22 season and thereafter some time in 2018.

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