Tommy Bain, chairman of the Cotton Bowl Athletic Association, said Wednesday that bowl officials are "cautiously optimistic" about bringing college football's 2015 national championship game to Cowboys Stadium and hope to get final approval next month.
The game would be the first in college football's playoff era, which will include a four-team playoff at the conclusion of the 2014 regular season. Commissioners from the BCS conferences will meet after next week's BCS National Championship Game for further discussions about the site of the game, with a decision possible by the end of February.
"Our goal is to host the first one," said Bain, adding that the Arlington venue is expected to be in the mix for multiple title games in the playoff era. "We're totally optimistic about hosting national championships, and we're cautiously optimistic about hosting the first one."
Cowboys Stadium has been gaining steam as a venue for the 2015 title game in recent weeks, with multiple reports citing the venue as a likely front-runner after commissioners discussed the topic in early December. One industry source, who requested anonymity, estimated that Cowboys Stadium could have as high as a 95 percent chance of landing the game.
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But both Bain and Rick Baker, Cotton Bowl president and CEO, stressed there is no deal in place and that additional negotiations must take place before the site is selected. Bain said he anticipates additional discussions later this month and bowl officials are "pretty excited" about pitching the merits of the venue as a revenue-producer and as a place where logistics would be convenient for travelers.
"The way this stadium hosts events and all the events surrounding the game, it's unsurpassed in the country," Bain said.
In addition, Cotton Bowl officials will make a pitch to BCS commissioners by the end of April about becoming one of three access bowls in the new playoff format. If granted access bowl status, the Cotton Bowl would host a semifinal game every third year and would hold an annual game featuring teams ranked between No. 5 and No. 12 in the final BCS standings in the other two years.
Jimmy Burch, 817-390-7760