Are You In?

From the opening kickoff during the waning days of August to the last drop of celebratory confetti at Raymond James Stadium on January 9, the turnstiles were spinning in college football stadiums across the country (and abroad) last season.

According to a recent study by the National Football Foundation (NFF), approximately 49 million fans–49,315,857, to be exact–went to a college football game, either at a school’s home stadium, at a neutral site or in the postseason, during the 2016 season. Those lofty numbers, comprising the 668 NCAA programs across the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), Football Championship Subdivision (FCS), Division II and Division III, reflect an increase of 257,891 total fans over the 2015 season.

And lest you think college football’s immense popularity is limited just to the United States, consider this: a total of 101,809 fans combined attended games played in Australia (California vs. Hawaii in Sydney to officially kick off the FBS schedule on August 26) and Ireland (Boston College vs. Georgia Tech in Dublin on September 3) at the beginning of the 2016 season.

That’s not to mention the millions of people who were watching games via the various television networks, online or through other streaming devices, logging billions of minutes viewing their favorite sport. The record-setting season culminated in yet another thrilling College Football Playoff (CFP) National Championship game between Clemson and Alabama in Tampa on January 9, delivering a total live audience across ESPN’s multi-network MegaCast (TV feeds and streaming) of 26,029,000 viewers and making it the most-watched event carried on a cable network since the 2016 CFP National Championship between the same two teams.

Thanks to the extensive research done by the NFF, resulting in pages and pages of highlights from the 2016 college football season, we have the statistics to prove that passion for the sport is on the rise … and in record-breaking numbers.

That enthusiasm once again was on prominent display in Atlanta on April 12, when the Atlanta Football Host Committee teamed up with CFP executives at a news conference to announce the fan events surrounding the 2018 College Football Playoff National Championship. From a building overlooking the gleaming, new Mercedes-Benz Stadium, the state-of-the-art venue where the next national champion will be crowned on January 8, 2018, the press conference participants lauded Atlanta’s attributes as host city of college football’s biggest game.

From Championship Tailgate Plaza (International Plaza), to Playoff Fan Central (Georgia World Congress Center), AT&T Playoff Playlist Live! (Centennial Park), Media Day (Phillips Arena), Extra Yard 5K (downtown), Taste of the Championship (Georgia Aquarium) and Extra Yard Teachers Lounge (GWCC)–and even the national championship game itself–each fan-friendly event is based inside a compact and walkable footprint in the heart of downtown Atlanta. This concentrated area outside the stadium, in fact, was one of the contributing factors that led to the city being selected as host site.

While the journey to the 2018 College Football Playoff National Championship is long–winding its way through stadiums across the country amidst the exhilarating rigors of the regular season, conference championships and semifinal playoff games–the trek to the title game and all its fun-filled events just got a whole lot closer for passionate college football fans this season.

Dallas Fan Fares in an Official Playoff Premium Event Experience Provider. For more information click here.

Every Game Counts

Every Game Counts… In Record-Breaking Numbers

If you’re a college football fan (and, quite frankly, why wouldn’t you be?), can you think of a better way to ring in the New Year than to spend the day watching your favorite sport?

Obviously, millions of you agreed that’s how you wanted to spend the first day of 2015, as evidenced by the numbers generated from the inaugural College Football Playoff (CFP) semifinal games, following the 2014 season. The Sugar and Rose Bowls, the sites for last season’s semifinals, delivered the second- (28.27 million viewers) and third-highest (28.16 million) audiences in cable TV history, respectively.

Combined with the College Football Playoff National Championship—which garnered THE LARGEST audience and highest rating in cable history, with 33.4 million viewers and an 18.2 US household rating, less than two weeks later—it turned into one huge, football-loving celebration across the country.

National College Football Champions Ohio State

Fast forward to this season, and college football aficionados already are sizing up their teams’ chances of making the playoffs. A New Year’s Eve date awaits–in either Miami or Dallas–with the final matchup slated for University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, on January 11, 2016.

After a highly successful inaugural season, year two of the College Football Playoffs should give fans even more reason to cheer. While the CFP touts the tagline “Every Game Counts,” fans have become more immersed in the system that ranks teams based on conference championships won, strength of schedule, head-to-head results, comparison of results against common opponents and other factors.Who will be the next Ohio State, which, undoubtedly, surprised quite a few experts en route to claiming the first College Football Playoff National Championship? The Buckeyes, who finished the 2013 season with a two-game losing streak, successfully travailed through the rigors of the 2014 season to dominate Oregon, 42-20, in the inaugural title game at AT&T Stadium in North Texas.

There’s even more crowd-pleasing action to experience during the 2015 campaign…and more arenas in which to witness the unveiling of its next champion.

Arizona Sunset

Famous for palm-tree-shrouded resorts, desert golf courses and elegant fashion centers, the Phoenix suburb of Glendale is enveloped by breathtaking scenery. Rugged mountains define the city’s horizon, which also provides the backdrop for one of the lushest and most colorful deserts in the world.

The region is also known for its perpetual sunshine…and, on January 11, 2016, the spotlight will be shining just as brightly on nearby University of Phoenix Stadium, as another college football season reaches its exciting conclusion.

Posted October 9, 2015

A Game of Epic Proportions

There was no post-game presentation of a gleaming trophy—and not a single piece of confetti raining down as thousands of fans cheered jubilantly from the stands—when the first national championship was awarded in college football. In fact, the title was bestowed retroactively, 66 years later, as both Princeton and Rutgers were deemed co-champions of the 1869 season.

Granted, those were the only two participants in what is considered the first season of intercollegiate play. And, they only competed in a couple of games, splitting the victories in rugby-like rules contests that one Rutgers player described as “replete with surprise, strategy, prodigies of determination and physical prowess” (sounds familiar, huh?).

From those humble, yet promising, beginnings, the great sport of college football was born. And we’re all the better for it!

Now, fast forward to 2014, and we’re about to embark on yet another historic season. On any given Saturday this fall, approximately 126 Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) teams will compete for the opportunity to advance to the inaugural College Football Playoff (CFP), a four-team, bracket-style format that will be contested in the Rose and Sugar Bowls on New Year’s Day. The winners will then advance to the title game at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on January 12, 2015.

Approximately 145 years after college football officially kicked off, its champion will be crowned amidst great fanfare … and on one of America’s grandest sports stages. Since it opened its gates in 2009, AT&T Stadium has hosted a Super Bowl, NBA’s All-Star Game and, most recently in April, the NCAA Men’s Final Four. Nine months later, all eyes will be on this brightly shining, $1.2 billion venue as it claims its place in history as the site of the inaugural College Football Playoff National Championship.

At Dallas Fan Fares, we’re already declaring: “It’s Gonna be Epic!” And there are several reasons why we’re leading the cheers for this game-changing event, including:

  • As college football fans. we’re excited to witness this new era of college football. And, with graduates of schools from practically every FBS conference on our staff, we’ll all be rooting for our respective teams as they begin their championship quests.
  • As a company, Dallas Fan Fares is proud of its designation as one of the “Official College Football Playoff Event Experience Providers” … and we’re here to put the emphasis on Experience. In every definition of the word.

Since 1980, our team of veterans has traveled the country (and several places abroad) to coordinate hospitality programs at practically every major sporting event. In January, as we help fans navigate their way to Texas to experience such a monumental event in the history of college football … well, we just can’t think of a better way to kick off Dallas Fan Fares’ 35th year in business!

So welcome to this new, and-oh-so-exciting, era in college football, and get ready for a celebration unlike any you’ve ever witnessed before. Like we said, it’s Gonna be Epic …

North Texas, with a Capital ‘T’

Memo to all you die-hard college football fans out there: Go ahead and mark your calendars for January 12, 2015, and start making your travel plans for Arlington, Texas.

That’s when and where the 2014 national champion will be crowned, based on the culmination of the inaugural College Football Playoff. The heralded product of much discussion and debate, the new system is designed to determine that season’s No. 1 team in a process as straightforward as its name…replacing the existing and sometimes controversial Bowl Championship Series (BCS), which incorporates a combination of polls and computer rankings to determine its participants.

Much like the NCAA Basketball Tournament, the College Football Playoff will pit the nation’s top four teams in a bracket to decide which two programs will advance to the championship game at Cowboys Stadium. The winners of the Rose and Sugar Bowls, both played on January 1, 2015, will match up two weeks later in Arlington, centrally located approximately 12 miles east of downtown Fort Worth and 20 miles west of downtown Dallas.
Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas

Following the inaugural season of the College Football Playoff, the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic (also played at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington) will join the six-bowl rotation (including the Chick-Fil-A, Fiesta and Orange Bowls) and will host the national semifinals once every three years, with its first semifinal game on Jan. 1, 2016.

“We think the new playoff will be the most dynamic improvement to college football in a generation,” said executive director Bill Hancock.

It’s also a victory for North Texas, which was selected as the site of the inaugural championship game by BCS commissioners in April, despite a heavy blitz by organizers in the Tampa Bay community.
Thirty-seven years after North Texas last played host to what resulted in the national title game—when fifth-ranked Notre Dame surprised No. 1 Texas, 38-10, on January 2, 1978, at the Cotton Bowl, vaulting the Irish to No. 1 in the final rankings—local organizers say they’re planning to “put on a show that all of North Texas will be proud of.”

Eight times the national championship has been won or lost in North Texas, all at the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic. The ninth time will be history-in-the-making, as the much-anticipated College Football Playoff replaces the BCS as the definitive factor in that season’s national champion.

Notre Dame vs. Alabama in the 2013 BCS National Title Game

The four-team College Football Playoff and its kickoff Championship Game marks a new era in the storied annals of NCAA college football…as well as an exciting time in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. Nine months earlier, North Texas will play oh-so-gracious host to the 2014 NCAA Men’s Final Four, also at Cowboys Stadium.

That heady championship run begins and ends at the $1.2 billion, 100,000-plus seat home of the NFL’s Cowboys and the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic…which, apparently, turned out to be North Texas’ ace in the hole in securing two of sports’ biggest events.

“The stadium itself was the biggest determiner [in how North Texas was chosen as the inaugural site of the College Football Playoff Championship Game],” Hancock said. “It’s still the stadium with a capital ‘T.’”