Houston eyes benefits of new college football format


Starting in 2014, a four-team playoff will replace the BCS format. That means there will be big games with big crowds and big benefits for the hosting cities, and the city of Houston plans to compete.

The semi-finals are supposed to be rotating around already established bowls, but the championship bowl is supposed to be decided through a bidding process, and the city of Houston says it certainly wants a chance to win.

Even though it was soccer on TV, sports fans were happy to talk about football, specifically that Houston can host a BCS Championship Bowl in the future.

"We've had Super Bowl, we've had All-Star game, we had the 2005 World Series, so yeah, why not?" sports fan Chris Thompson said.

Just last year, basketball fans from across the country converged on Houston for the Final Four. While no one knows what the BCS Championship Bowl bidding process will look like, the chair of the Harris County Houston Sports Authority says they're already gearing up.

"We don't really know what's going to happen but a group of community leaders have begun coming together to try to put together a coalition of folks who will be able to quickly respond when and if we get a better sense of what we're supposed to do," said Harris County Houston Sports Authority Chair Kenny Friedman.

Friedman says a winning bid could bring to Houston a Super Bowl-like atmosphere, which hasn't been seen since the city hosted that game in 2004.

Mayor Annise Parker says she's focused on the potential economic impact.

"I just want people with dollars to come to Houston and be willing to spend those dollars watching sports," she said.

And although the Super Bowl hasn't returned, plenty of other major sporting events have flourished in the Bayou City.

"We've shown in the past from the Super Bowl to the NBA finals that we can handle the big crowds, so we will work with the NCAA and whoever else to see whatever we need to do to be able to bring that here to Houston," Houston City Councilman Larry Green said.

Right now, no one knows what the bidding process will be like and what the criteria will be. But Houston says it already has a lot of people with plenty of experience on bidding so it's hoping that when the process is announced, the city will become a top player.

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