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Minnesota Bids For 2020 College Football Championship Game

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton and local businesses launched an official bid Tuesday for the 2020 College Football Playoff National Championship game.

It would be played at the new Minnesota Vikings stadium under construction in downtown Minneapolis, which is already hosting the 2018 Super Bowl and the 2019 Final Four.

After a record 35-million cable television viewers watched Ohio State win the new college football championship game in January, organizers of Minnesota's 2020 bid are expecting interest in the new event to accelerate.

"We expect that by 2020 the national championship football game, and the weekend prior, will be as big as the Final Four," Willis of Minnesota CEO and bid committee co-chair Scot Housh said.

The game would be held at the new Vikings stadium, which has more than the required 65,000 seats.

Other key bid components include a completed light rail transit, 10,000 hotel rooms and major concert venues for two nights of music.

The bid committee includes University of Minnesota football coach Jerry Kill, who is pitching the Twin Cities as a sports mecca.

"We're having the Final Four here, and then we're having the Super Bowl here," Kill said. "So why not have the division one national championship here, and play for it all?"

Bid organizers won't make any predictions about economic impact, but they say this year's game generated a windfall for Dallas-Fort Worth.

"It is really notoriously tough to estimate the economic impact of an event like this on a community," Land O' Lakes CEO Chris Policinski said. "But I can tell you it will be positive, in a meaningful way, with many millions of dollars in benefit."

The bid for the college championship is likely to include a promise of tax exemptions, but bid organizers won't ask lawmakers until next year.

It is unknown how many cities will make bids before the May 26 deadline. The 2020 selection will be made in September.

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