Atlanta to host 2018 college football national championship game

ATLANTA -- Atlanta will host the 2018 College Football Playoff National Championship, it was announced on Wednesday.

The game will take place Monday, Jan. 8, 2018 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

The city was selected over  Houston, Miami and Santa Clara, according to a news release from the Atlanta Sports Council.

Officials from the College Football Playoff visited Atlanta as part of the bid process in mid-July and toured ancillary event venues, hotels, the Mercedes-Benz Stadium Preview Center and the construction site of Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

"We are excited and proud to host the 2018 College Football Playoff National Championship in Mercedes-Benz Stadium," said Arthur Blank, owner of the Atlanta Falcons, Atlanta United FC and Atlanta Falcons Stadium Company, developer and operator of Mercedes-Benz Stadium.  "We promise to offer a first-class experience for teams, fans, media and business partners, and we will do everything we can to take this championship game to the next level in 2018."

The Mercedes-Benz Stadium is slated to open in the spring of 2017 -- just in time for the start of the inaugural Major League Soccer season of the Atlanta United FC.

Atlanta also hosts the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, which is part of the playoff's six-bowl semifinal rotation. It will host its first playoff game on Dec. 31, 2016.

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