Fiesta Bowl agrees to deal with College Football Playoff through 2026

Jul 13, 2018, 8:14 AM | Updated: 7:11 pm

(Fiesta Bowl)...

(Fiesta Bowl)

(Fiesta Bowl)

The Fiesta Bowl committee announced Friday that the college football bowl game has extended its agreement with the College Football Playoff for six years and will host the national semifinals in the 2022-23 and 2025-26 seasons.

“This is exciting news for the Fiesta Bowl organization and our Board of Directors, Yellow Jacket Committee, volunteers, fans, community partners and sponsors,” said Fiesta Bowl executive director Mike Nealy. “Our extension with the College Football Playoff reflects the year-round work that enhances our legacy as a first-in-class college football bowl organization. Creating innovative experiences and driving economic growth for Arizona is our mission, and being a part of the CFP helps achieve that.”

The Fiesta Bowl was hosted at Tempe’s Sun Devil Stadium from 1971-2006 before it moved to Glendale and the newly built University of Phoenix Stadium.

In the home of the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals, the bowl game hosted the second of four College Football Playoffs semifinals since the new playoff format began for the 2014 season. On Dec. 31, 2016, No. 2 Clemson defeated No. 3 Ohio State, 31-0.

A semifinal matchup was already scheduled to return the playoff to the Fiesta Bowl at the close of the 2019 season.

The new agreement assures the Fiesta Bowl four semifinals games through the first 12 years of the CFP. It takes the partnership through the 2026 season.

The Fiesta Bowl also hosted two national title games in the Bowl Championship Series era.

In the 2003 Fiesta Bowl, No. 2 Ohio State defeated No. 1 Miami, 31-24, needing two overtimes to do so. No. 1 Tennessee defeated No. 2 Florida State, 23-16, at Sun Devil Stadium in January 1999.

Three years earlier, No. 1 Nebraska rolled past No. 2 Florida, 62-24, in a Bowl Alliance title game.

One of the most infamous moments in college football history came not in a title game but in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl matchup between the No. 7 Oklahoma Sooners and No. 9 Boise State Broncos. In overtime with Boise State having just matched an Oklahoma touchdown and needing an extra point to extend the game with the tie, Broncos quarterback Jared Zabransky faked a quick pass while hiding the football behind his back and handed the ball off to running back Ian Johnson, who easily scored for a two-point conversion and the 43-42 win.

Last year’s Fiesta Bowl featured No. 9 Penn State, which defeated No. 12 Washington, 35-28.

“The Fiesta Bowl has provided a quality experience for the student-athletes and fans for many years, including the first four seasons of the CFP, and we know that will continue,” said CFP executive director Bill Hancock. “The entire state of Arizona has fully embraced the opportunity to be a part of this very popular event and to showcase the unique opportunities that the Fiesta Bowl offers to visitors.”

Results/future dates for the Fiesta Bowl under the College Football Playoff

December 31, 2014 – Boise State 38, Arizona 20

January 1, 2016 – Ohio State 44, Notre Dame 28

December 31, 2016 – Clemson 31, Ohio State 0 (CFP Semifinal)

December 30, 2017 – Penn State 35, Washington 28

January 1, 2019 – 11 am Kickoff, CFP at-large vs. CFP at-large

December 28, 2019 – CFP Semifinal

2020-21 – 50th Anniversary Game; TBD, CFP at-large vs. CFP at-large

2021-22 – TBD, CFP at-large vs. CFP at-large

December 31, 2022 – CFP Semifinal

2023-24 – TBD, CFP at-large vs. CFP at-large

2024-25 – TBD, CFP at-large vs. CFP at-large

December 27, 2025 – CFP Semifinal


Comment guidelines: No name-calling, personal attacks, profanity, or insults. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate comments by reporting abuse.
comments powered by Disqus

Fiesta Bowl

Bo Nix...

Alex Weiner

Oregon QB Bo Nix’s record-setting day leads Ducks to Fiesta Bowl win over Liberty

Oregon, led by quarterback Bo Nix in his final start, made the most of its Fiesta Bowl experience with a victory over Liberty in Glendale.

2 months ago

Spencer Sanders #3 and Malcolm Rodriguez #20 of the Oklahoma State Cowboys celebrate after beating ...

Jake Anderson

Oklahoma State erases 21-point deficit to beat Notre Dame in Fiesta Bowl

Oklahoma State scored 30 unanswered points to beat Notre Dame 37-35 and overcome the largest deficit in Fiesta Bowl history on New Year's Day.

2 years ago

Notre Dame quarterback Jack Coan (17) throws as Oklahoma State defensive end Brock Martin (9) pursu...

Tom Kuebel

Notre Dame QB Jack Coan sets Fiesta Bowl record in offensive explosion

Notre Dame quarterback Jack Coan set a Fiesta Bowl record for passing in a losing effort to Oklahoma State on Saturday.

2 years ago

Follow @AZSports...

Arizona Sports

Fiesta Bowl tickets for Ohio State-Clemson CFP semifinal sell out

Tickets for the Ohio State Buckeyes facing the Clemson Tigers in the 2019 PlayStation Fiesta Bowl have sold out, the event's website tweeted Tuesday.

4 years ago

(AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, File)...

Cole Bailey

Urban Meyer named guest speaker at Fiesta Bowl Kickoff Luncheon

On Thursday, the Fiesta Bowl announced that Urban Meyer will be the special guest speaker at their Kickoff Luncheon on Aug. 20 at the Arizona Biltmore.

5 years ago

Fiesta Bowl excutive director Mike Nealy joins The Doug & Wolf Show for an interview on 98.7 FM...

Cole Bailey

Fiesta Bowl Executive Director talks Playoff expansion, number of bowls

Fiesta Bowl executive director Mike Nealy joined Doug and Wolf on Wednesday, where he talked about expansion and the number of bowl games among other things

5 years ago

Fiesta Bowl agrees to deal with College Football Playoff through 2026