Is your school headed to the College Football Playoff? With the semifinal and final sites spread across the country, it’s time to get a head start on your travel plans.
But where to start? That’s where we come in.
Here’s our annual look at resources and information for fans looking to attend one of the semifinals or the final in 2019-20. We hope the info below helps you get started on an epic trip to root for your team.
(Note: We’ll be updating this post continually with times, teams involved and more information as it becomes available.)
The two semifinal games will take place on Saturday, Dec. 28:
• No. 1 LSU vs. No. 4 Oklahoma at the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, at 4 p.m. ET. (Find tickets here.)
• No. 2 Ohio State vs. No. 3 Clemson at the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., at 8 p.m. ET. (Find tickets here.)
The national championship game will take place on Monday, Jan. 13 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. (Find tickets here.)
For detailed city information for the semifinal and final sites, check out our City Guides to Atlanta, Phoenix and New Orleans.
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) is the main gateway into the city; it’s located some 15 miles south of downtown. It’s the primary hub for Delta Air Lines.
Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX) is about five miles to the east of downtown Phoenix and about 20 miles southeast of Glendale. It’s a hub for American Airlines.
Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY) is in the suburb of Kenner, some 15 miles from the central city area. Most major carriers operate routes into the airport from all major domestic destinations.
Mercedes-Benz Stadium is located just west of downtown Atlanta, part of a complex that once was home to the stadium’s predecessor, the Georgia Dome. The area includes major attractions such as the Georgia World Congress Center, Philips Arena and CNN Center. Centennial Olympic Park, which commemorates Atlanta’s role as host of the 1996 Summer Olympics, is also nearby. Most downtown hotels are within walking distance of Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
State Farm Stadium is in the Phoenix suburb of Glendale and about 15 miles from downtown Phoenix via Interstate 10 and Loop 101. Fans will find it most beneficial to have a car during their visit, as public transportation between Phoenix and Glendale consists only of indirect bus lines. Some Fiesta Bowl events will take place in downtown Phoenix (see below) and many of the area’s attractions are in the Valley’s eastern suburbs such as Tempe and Scottsdale.
The Mercedes-Benz Superdome is located on the western edge of the Central Business District. Many of the city’s hotels are within a short walking distance, beginning with the Hyatt Regency a block away, as are many of its popular attractions. The famed French Quarter, including Bourbon Street and its numerous restaurants and drinking establishments, is about a mile and a half away.
The city’s MARTA subway system runs through downtown Atlanta and has a line leading to Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. Use the Dome/GWCC/Philips/CNN stop to access Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
While the Phoenix area has a light rail system operated by Valley Metro, it doesn’t extend as far west as Glendale. The best way to get to State Farm Stadium is via car. There are designated taxi and rideshare drop-off and pickup points near the stadium and the adjacent Westgate entertainment district; for more info, click here.
New Orleans’ streetcar system serves several popular points around town. The Poydras station on the Rampart-St. Claude line is closest to the Superdome, located two blocks away.
Parking is available throughout the Mercedes-Benz Stadium/Georgia World Congress Center site. Click here for a parking map. Permits can be purchased in advance as part of a bundle with Peach Bowl FanFest tickets for $75 by going to this link.
Advance purchase parking for the Fiesta Bowl can be purchased through this link, with prices starting at $40. Parking is also available at the Westgate complex; more info can be found here.
A number of structures surround the Superdome and the nearby Smoothie King Center. Parking information for the CFP national championship game can be found here.
Things to do
The College Football Hall of Fame, within close proximity of the Georgia Dome and convenient to most downtown hotels, will hold its 2019 class enshrinement on Friday, Dec. 27, in an event free to paid museum visitors. Click here for our guide to visiting the museum.
Also on Dec. 27, fans can also check out the Georgia Aquarium for Fan Night between 4 and 8 p.m. Discounted admission can be purchased here.
On game day itself, there will be a fanfest held at the nearby Georgia World Congress Center beginning at 8 a.m. local time. Admission is $10 and can be purchased at this link. Meanwhile, the Peach Bowl Parade will be held on the streets of downtown Atlanta starting at 9 a.m.
Other sporting events:
• The NBA’s Atlanta Hawks host the Milwaukee Bucks on Dec. 27 at State Farm Arena, a few blocks from Mercedes-Benz Stadium. (Find tickets here.)
The Fiesta Bowl’s pregame festivities begin in the morning on Dec. 28 with a parade through downtown Phoenix, which is free for spectators. The Fiesta Bowl FanFest takes place on the “Great Lawn” outside University of Phoenix Stadium, beginning six hours before kickoff, and is free to ticket holders.
Other sporting events:
• The Cheez-It Bowl, organized by the same committee that hosts the Fiesta Bowl, will be held the night before, Friday, Dec. 27. The game will pit Washington State against Air Force and will be played at Chase Field in downtown Phoenix, home of the Arizona Diamondbacks of MLB. (Find tickets here.)
• The NHL’s Arizona Coyotes, who play their home games across the street from State Farm Stadium at Gila River Arena, will be on the road throughout the week leading up to the Fiesta Bowl. But they return home the day after, Sunday, Dec. 29, to face the Dallas Stars. (Find tickets here.)
• If you’d like to warm up on game day with some college basketball, the Arizona State Sun Devils play host to Texas Southern at 1 p.m. local time. Their on-campus arena, Desert Financial Arena, is across town in the suburb of Tempe. (Find tickets here.)
• The Phoenix Suns of the NBA are on the road throughout the week of the Fiesta Bowl.
Central New Orleans is part of what’s being called the “Championship Campus,” with events leading up to the title game located throughout the area. You can view a map here.
The CFP championship Media Day is free and open to the public, and will be held at the Xavier University of Louisiana Convocation Center on Saturday, Jan. 11, beginning at 8:30 a.m. The Xavier University campus is several miles northwest of downtown in the Gert Town neighborhood.
Playoff Fan Central, a three-day fan fest leading up to the championship game, begins Jan. 11 at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in central New Orleans.
The Jax Brewery and Woldenburg Park, at the northern edge of the French Quarter, will be the site for the Championship Tailgate Plaza and will host live music and other acts throughout the weekend leading up to the game.
For a complete list of activities surrounding the CFP championship game, click here.
Other sporting events:
• The New Orleans Pelicans of the NBA will host the Chicago Bulls at Smoothie King Center on Wednesday, Jan. 8 (find tickets here) before hitting the road for the duration of CFP championship weekend.
About Edward de la Fuente | Itinerant Fan
I live for sports, and I love to travel. My biggest thrill is combining the two. I’ve been blogging about sports travel for more than a decade, and traveling for sports for twice as long. To find out more, check out our About page.
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