College Football Playoff tweaks dates in upcoming seasons

ByHeather Dinich ESPN logo
Thursday, July 28, 2016

All College Football Playoff semifinal games will be played on Saturdays or holidays after the event saw ratings plummet on New Year's Eve last season.

The dates have been changed for the semifinal games in the 2018, 2019, 2024 and 2025 seasons.

"We had healthy discussions with a lot of people who love college football and we concluded that making these changes would be the right thing to do for our fans." CFP executive director Bill Hancock said in a statement. "We tried to do something special with New Year's Eve, even when it fell on a weekday. But after studying this to see if it worked, we think we can do better.

"These adjustments will allow more people to experience the games they enjoy so much. For these four years, our previous call is reversed."

The semifinals will remain on one weekday New Year's Eve -- Friday, Dec. 31, 2021 -- which will be the federally observed New Year's holiday.

The Orange, Rose and Sugar Bowls will host semifinal games through at least the 2024 season. The CFP will determine the remaining semifinal sites for the 2021 season and thereafter some time in 2018.

This season's semifinals will be played on Dec. 31, a Saturday.