Will San Antonio host college football national championship?

Committee to make announcement Wednesday

By Cory Smith - VJ, Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - The College Football Playoff Committee will announce Wednesday whether the Alamodome will host the 2019 or 2020 national championship game.

Among San Antonio's competitors are San Francisco, Austin, Houston, and Minnesota.

Mike Sawaya, director of the city's Convention and Sports Facilities Department, believes the $40 million renovation of the Alamodome gives the city a good shot to land college football's biggest night.

"Not only is the experience on game day important, but it's all the other things that go into it. These improvements are a key part of our big package for this event," Sawaya said.

The dome is no stranger to large events, having hosted the NCAA Final Four and the annual Valero Alamo Bowl. With an estimated $200 million economic impact, Sawaya said the national championship would dwarf March Madness.

"The capacity of the building itself is the same, but this playoff game is like the Super Bowl for college sports," he said.

Derrick Fox, president and CEO of the Valero Alamo Bowl, said the city's connectivity is also a big draw.

"Fans come to San Antonio and go,'This is a great city. It's built for special events,'" Fox said. "You're in walking distance, literally adjacent, to the convention center. You've got the Riverwalk, the Alamo. You've got tens-of-thousands of hotel rooms in the downtown community."

Local bar owners are also awaiting the announcement, which is expected to come down at 1 p.m. Wednesday.

"(The game) is definitely going to boost everything," said Javier Rodriguez, lead bartender at Alamo Depot Sports Bar in St. Paul Square. "From foot traffic, to sales, T-shirts, there's going to be probably food trucks everywhere, it's going to bring quite a bit of business."

The playoff committee will announce the host city on its website at 1 p.m.

The city will also hold a press conference Wednesday.

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