MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The $500 million spent in renovations to Hard Rock Stadium is paying off.
On Wednesday, Miami-South Florida won the bid to host the 2021 College Football Playoff National Championship.
“We are excited that Hard Rock Stadium will play host to the biggest game in college football,” said Tom Garfinkel, president and CEO of the Miami Dolphins. “Stephen Ross committed more than $500 million to make this a global entertainment destination and we are thrilled about the opportunity to showcase our venue on this stage.”
Bill Hancock, executive director of the CFP, couldn’t agree more with Garfinkel.
“We are impressed with the recent renovations to the stadium that has been host to so many significant college football games,” said Hancock. “Of course, South Florida is a great destination, and the people from the Orange Bowl Committee have always been cordial and welcoming hosts.”
Mayor Carlos Gimenez credited the stadium renovation as a major factor in securing the game.
“Steve Ross invested over a half a billion dollars in the renovation of this stadium. And make no mistake about it, no matter how good our bid would have been or was, without that investment we would have never gotten this game,” he said.
This will be South Florida’s first national championship game under the College Football Playoff, but its 21st overall. The 20 previous national championship games were hosted by the Orange Bowl Committee.
“We are thrilled to be able to bring the national championship game back to this area,” said Don Slesnick, president and chair of the Orange Bowl Committee. “While this was truly a collaborative effort of many entities, we felt that it was important for the Orange Bowl Committee to take the lead on putting this bid together as the organization that hosted the region’s previous 20 national championships.”
The championship game is just the latest in a string of high-profile events flocking to Hard Rock Stadium.
Back in May of 2016, NFL owners decided to award Super Bowl LIV in 2020 to South Florida.
Then, in March of 2017, Ross announced he convinced Real Madrid and Barcelona to face off at Hard Rock Stadium for El Clasico.
The game will take place on January 11, 2021, at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens.
The 2021 College Football Playoff National Championship will be the seventh under the College Football Playoff which began with the 2015 game in Arlington, Tex. Other sites have been Glendale, Ariz. in 2016 and Tampa Bay in 2017. The 2018 game will be in Atlanta, 2019 in Santa Clara, Calif., and 2020 in New Orleans.