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Forum News Service, Published December 17 2013

New Vikings football stadium loses out to Florida for college championship

MINNEAPOLIS - Tampa beat Minneapolis to host the third college football playoff championship game in 2017.

Bill Hancock, executive director of the College Football Playoff organization, said the Florida city has a good facility, but he did not mention that it also has better January weather.

"Tampa Bay is a terrific destination with a beautiful stadium and a community that is committed to hosting big events in a gracious and thorough manner," Hancock said. "We are very happy with the facilities, the creative proposal and the commitment of support from community leaders."

The Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority had hoped the 2017 championship game would be one of the first major events at the new downtown Minneapolis stadium that is to replace the Metrodome as the home of the Minnesota Vikings.

Four communities in addition to Minneapolis and Tampa bid for the 2017 game. The 2016 championship game comes before the stadium is to be finished.

The first championship game will be in Arlington, Texas, on Jan. 12, 2015. All of the first three years’ semifinal and championship games are in the South.

Vikings stadium construction is beginning and workers begin tearing down the Metrodome after this year's National Football League season.