ATLANTA — Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium will host the first college football national championship game under an expanded playoff format in 2025, the College Football Playoff’s Board of Managers announced Thursday.

The two surviving teams in a 12-team field will play for the national title in downtown Atlanta on Jan. 20, 2025. The game will culminate the 2024-25 season.

Starting in 2024, college football’s playoffs will expand from the current four-term format to include the six highest-ranked conference champions and the next six highest-ranked teams.

“We’re delighted to be moving forward,” CFP Executive Director Bill Hancock said. “More teams and more access mean more excitement for fans, alumni, students, and student-athletes. … Everyone realized that this change is in the best interest of college football and pulled together to make it happen.”

The college football playoffs have pitted the four highest-ranked teams since 2014. The University of Georgia has played in the title game twice since then, losing to Alabama in 2018 but turning the tables on the Crimson Tide and winning the national championship last January.

Since moving to the four-team format, college football fans and the schools themselves have been pushing to expand the playoffs.

Under the new format, the four highest-ranked teams will receive first round byes. The other eight will play quarterfinal contests at the Fiesta, Rose, Sugar, and Peach bowls, with the Peach Bowl game also being played at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

The two semifinal games will be played at the Cotton and Orange bowls. Dates for the quarterfinals and semifinals have yet to be determined.

Atlanta also will get one of the two semifinal games following the 2025 season.

This story is available through a news partnership with Capitol Beat News Service, a project of the Georgia Press Educational Foundation.