College football’s forced attempt in taking over New Year’s Eve is over after just one year.
On Thursday, the director of the College Football Playoff announced all future semifinal games will be played either on Saturdays or national holidays.
Last year’s semifinal games — played at the Orange and Cotton bowls on Dec. 31 — saw TV ratings plummet as opposed to the 2014 games that were played in traditional New Year’s Day spots at the Sugar and Rose bowls.
The Rose and Sugar bowls will continue to hold their remaining three semifinal games on New Year’s Day.
“We had healthy discussions with a lot of people who love college football,” Bill Hancock, director of the CFP, said in a statement, “and we concluded that making these changes would be the right thing to do for our fans. These adjustments will allow more people to experience the games they enjoy so much.”
Locally, the Orange Bowl will be affected with two of its three future semifinal games being moved.
The Orange Bowl’s next semifinal in 2018 will be played on Saturday, Dec. 29, and its 2024 semifinal was moved to Saturday, Dec. 28.
The 2021 semifinal will remain on New Year’s Eve because it falls on a Friday and is the nationally recognized holiday for New Year’s Day, thus kicking off a three-day weekend.
The Orange Bowl will be held either on a Friday night, Saturday or New Year’s Day (2020, 2026) in nine of its next 10 scheduled games.
“Moving these game dates will be a positive both for the out of town and local fans attending the game, as well as for those viewing on television nationally,” Michael B. Chavies, president and chair of the Orange Bowl Committee, said in a statement.
Future dates of the Orange Bowl Classic
▪ December 30, 2016 (Friday)
▪ December 30, 2017 (Saturday)
▪ CFP semifinal; December 29, 2018 (Saturday)
▪ January 1, 2020 (Wednesday)
▪ December 31, 2020 (Thursday)
▪ CFP semifinal; December 31, 2021 (Friday)
▪ December 30, 2022 (Friday)
▪ December 30, 2023 (Saturday)
▪ CFP semifinal; December 28, 2024 (Saturday)
▪ January 1, 2026 (Thursday)