CFP championship game to return to Hard Rock Stadium in 2026

Hard Rock Stadium, home of the NFL’s Miami Dolphins, has been awarded hosting rights to the 2026 edition of the College Football Playoff national championship game.

The stadium, which last hosted the game in 2021, will stage the event on January 5, 2026.

The College Football Playoff’s management committee has also selected the site for the 2025 championship game, but the venue is not set to be announced until a later date.

Multiple reports have suggested that Mercedes-Benz Stadium, home of the Atlanta Falcons and Major League Soccer team Atlanta United, will stage the 2025 game. Mercedes-Benz Stadium also hosted in 2018.

Bill Hancock, executive director of the College Football Playoff, said: “We are delighted to be returning to Miami. South Florida was a great host for the 2021 national championship game despite the event having to be scaled back because of COVID-19, and we look forward to returning in 2026 with a full complement of events and activities during national championship weekend.

“The first-class stadium, convention centre, hotels and supportive people in South Florida made the decision to return quite easy. The CFP National Championship has become one of the most popular sporting events in the United States in a short period of time, and we look forward to a terrific celebration in Miami in 2026.”

Hard Rock Stadium has expanded its event-hosting portfolio in recent years. The stadium has staged the Miami Open tennis event since 2019, while earlier this year it hosted a Formula 1 grand prix for the first time.

Hard Rock Stadium has also been selected as one of the host venues for the 2026 FIFA World Cup, which will take place in the US, Canada and Mexico. The stadium also regularly hosts major music concerts.

Lucas Oil Stadium, home of the Indianapolis Colts, staged the 2022 national championship game, which saw the Georgia Bulldogs defeat the Alabama Crimson Tide. Next year’s game will be held at SoFi Stadium, home of the Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Chargers, while the 2024 event will take place at NRG Stadium, home of the Houston Texans.

Image: A.J. Lipp/CC BY-SA 4.0/Edited for size