What were we really gaining by holding the CFP National Championship in Vegas in the next five years? I know it’s the gambling capital of the world, but can we leave it to the NFL, college basketball and MMA to hold space in Las Vegas?
I know a weekend in Sin City sounds fun for all of the SEC fans who would most likely make the trek out West. Yes, the scenery would be fun and the amount of money they’d probably lose over the 48 hours in the city will most likely cause them to take out a second mortgage on their home. But having this game that was scheduled to be played in 2025 taken off the books for a few years is not a bad thing. We need a test run before we make Vegas a rotational spot for the title game.
And we are getting one in 2024. LSU and USC are scheduled to open the 2024 season at Allegiant Stadium for the Vegas Kickoff Classic during Labor Day weekend. This should be the test run to see whether fans would truly embrace college football in Sin City, outside of UNLV, who barely drew a crowd this past season.
According to the Action Network, the Consumer Electronics Show would also be held in Vegas in early January 2025. The CES draws around 200,000 people to Las Vegas which take up a ton of hotel rooms and convention center space. This isn’t an MMA weekend that the CFP was up against. It’s every well-known person who sells electronics for a living.
The report goes on to state that the two sides could not come to an agreement in regards to the date of the convention and whether it would conflict with the championship game.
“There was a request to move CES a week, which wasn’t happening, and Las Vegas asked the CFP to move the title game back a week later,” a source said. “But there was no dice there either.”
So, the CFP Committee is now in negotiations with Atlanta’s Mercedes Benz Stadium to host the 2025 game.
The next four title games will take place in Los Angeles, Houston, Atlanta and Miami. I can understand LA, because of the Pac-12 presence and how many folks usually travel to the Rose Bowl. Houston is a nice spot, even if it’s played in NRG Stadium, while Miami seems to be getting another game because of the money that was lost during the 2020 COVID year.
But let’s be honest, places like Indianapolis, Atlanta, New Orleans and Los Angeles just feel like college football. What Indy did with the 2022 championship game was nothing short of phenomenal, and plus, everything is in walking distance. The same can go for Atlanta or New Orleans, which make you feel like you’re in a bubble, with good times on the horizon.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Las Vegas during a fight weekend or a college basketball event. There’s nothing wrong with the city, but it doesn’t quite feel like college football yet. Maybe the 2024 season opener between LSU and USC can change my mind. If nothing else, it will be fun to watch LSU fans take over Vegas. But let’s see how this one goes before keeping Vegas in the CFP rotation. They will reportedly get the 2027 championship game due to a switch, as the 12-year contract for the CFP runs out in four years.
We will see how this plays out over the next few years and in the coming months for the move to Atlanta. But Atlanta has set the bar when it comes to hosting events like this. Just look at the SEC Championship every year.
I am most certainly not saying the CFP should stay away from Vegas in the long term, but we definitely need a few high profile games before we hand off the CFP title game. Let’s not forget these games are played on a Monday night, which means you’re most likely going to be hanging out in your room after the first day, since your money will already be in the hands of some blackjack dealer.
Just take a few games from the dealer and see if you come up flush. If so, bring on the slot machine sounds as soon as I get off the airplane in 2027.