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IRVING, Texas — The inaugural first-round games of a 12-team College Football Playoff will feature one game on Friday, Dec. 20, 2024 and three games on Dec. 21, 2024, CFP executive director Bill Hancock said on Thursday following the conclusion of CFP spring meetings.

The CFP is also zeroing in on confirming midweek games for the 2024 quarterfinals, with three games on Jan. 1, 2024, and the fourth quarterfinal game either on New Year’s Eve or Jan. 2, 2024 to avoid competing against the NFL Wildcard weekend.

“We want to preserve as much prep time between the rounds as we possibly can,” Hancock said. “I wouldn’t want to share any details about our conversations with the NFL, but we have a good relationship with them.”

The College Football Playoff management committee, which is composed of the 10 FBS commissioners and Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick, met for two and a half days at the Las Colinas Resort to discuss a wide-range of logistics for implementing the new format in time for the start of the 2024 season.

The first-round games will be held at either the home field of the higher-seeded team or at another site designated by the higher-seeded institution. (No. 12 at No. 5, No. 11 at No. 6, No. 10 at No. 7, and No. 9 at No. 8.).

The CFP’s management committee continued to discuss ticket allotments for on-campus games, but Hancock said in general, the host school will sell the tickets and the season ticket holders will have an opportunity to buy playoff tickets the same way. Visiting teams will also have an allotment, but they haven’t determined how many or where they will sit in the stadium.

“Our charge is going to be to make what we do fit the same in Knoxville as it does in Ann Arbor as it does in Eugene,” Hancock said. “It will be a home game in many ways with pageantry, but there will also be visiting team pageantry, similar to what happens in bowl games.”

For the 2024 and 2025 seasons, the four quarterfinal games and two playoff semifinal games will be played in bowls on a rotating basis. The 2024 quarterfinals will take place in the Fiesta Bowl, Peach Bowl, Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl, while the Cotton Bowl and Orange Bowl will host the Playoff Semifinals. The 2025 quarterfinals will take place in the Cotton Bowl, Orange Bowl, Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl, while the Fiesta Bowl and Peach Bowl will host the playoff semifinals.

The national championship games will be played January 20, 2025, in Atlanta, and January 19, 2026, in Miami. The CFP’s management committee continued to discuss lingering issues like the media rights agreement, campus hotels for the first-round games, and how the expanded playoff will coexist with December commencement and exams.

Monday was spent hearing presentations from each of the New Year’s Six bowls and meeting with ESPN television executives. Hancock said there’s no timetable for when they need to have everything answered, but he is confident the details will be done in time.

The commissioners also continued to explore the possibility of starting the season at Week 0, but there was a consensus that if that change were agreed upon, it wouldn’t be feasible until at least 2026.

“There are many conflicting interests and opinions about starting the season a week earlier,” Hancock said. ” … but absolutely they talked about it. I don’t believe the CFP is the group to make that decision.”

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CFP committee confirms dates for first year of expanded playoff