The College Football Playoff will be held in Glendale next year. Layla Brock, director of operations and logic for the College Football Playoff, will tell us about preparations for the games.
TED SIMONS: The college football playoff will be held in Glendale next year at the University of Phoenix stadium. Here to talk about preparations for the event is the game's Director of Operations and Logistics, Layla Brock. Welcome to "Arizona Horizon."
LAYLA BROCK: Thank you so much.
TED SIMONS: Good to have you here. Define terms here: What is the college football playoff?
LAYLA BROCK: Thank you. The college football playoff is a post-season bowl game. Basically it replaces the BSC system. I know that folks in the Valley of the Sun were used to having the Fiesta Bowl serve as the National Championship host in years past, but about two years ago the conference commissioners came together and decided to host - have the playoff system and what that means is that the playoff games rotate between six bowl games every year. This year it'll be the Cotton Bowl and the Orange Bowl. The champions of those two games will come to Glendale and play the national championship.
TED SIMONS: As far as the playoff is concerned, you're a company with a board of directors and the whole nine yards.
LAYLA BROCK: We are, we have a staff of in Irvine, Texas. We report to the conference commissioners. Our board of managers basically runs the event and we carry out the administrative duties on their behalf.
TED SIMONS: And back to the game now, this selection committee, we find out who's going to play in those semifinal games, who are these people?
LAYLA BROCK: They are experts in college football. They really understand the game inside and out. They are sitting athletic directors, former members of the media. Condoleezza Rice, as you probably know, is on the committee, as well. They are very qualified to pick the participants in our game.
TED SIMONS: As far as the event is concerned, now we have the championship game, the other guys are semifinals. Like the Super Bowl, we're talking about other stuff going on. Tell us about that.
Exactly. So it's a three-day -- actually a four-day event for the fans and guests coming into the Valley of the Sun. We are delighted to host our franchise events in downtown Phoenix and so, those include our playoff fan central which will be hosted at the Phoenix Convention Center for about three days, January 8th to the10th. Family friendly events, sponsor activations, the ticketed event, we expect everyone to come on down and have a really good time down there. Then the second event is our AT&T playoffs live concert series, will also be Friday through Sunday. Headline talent every night, a different genre every night for just about every fan.
TED SIMONS: Is that downtown, as well?
LAYLA BROCK: That's downtown as well
TED SIMONS: What's going on in Glendale besides the game?
LAYLA BROCK: That's a big deal. The game's out there, but also fans who access to tickets, fan who actually have a game ticket will have access to the championship tailgate, as well. That's an event on gameday on the stadium grounds.
TED SIMONS: It's very similar to Super Bowl activity. We're used to Super Bowls out here, sounds very similar.
LAYLA BROCK: It is. It's very similar. It's a blend between the Super Bowl and the BCS National Championship games in the past, and kind of making it the best of both worlds. This game really belongs to the fans. We make it fan friendly, it's not the corporate environment you see with the Super Bowl. Which is great for the Super Bowl and the NFL. But college football is really about the fans, down and dirty they just love college football and they love everything that's associated with it.
TED SIMONS: Downtown Phoenix has a lot of activity, you've got the tailgate and the game out in Glendale. What about Tempe? That's a big college town over there.
LAYLA BROCK: Absolutely. We will give Tempe some love, as well. Tempe's going to host our extra yard for teacher's 5k and all the proceeds for that will benefit teachers in the local area and teacher's foundation.
TED SIMONS: And so, preparation going on now I would imagine. What's involved?
LAYLA BROCK: A lot of travel. Our group comes down from Dallas about once a month, some more than others. We come down and work with the local Arizona organizing committee. A lot of folks involved with the Super Bowl are involved with our national championship planning. We have a great group of people who are willing to help us out any way we can.
TED SIMONS: How much was learned at last year's event? It had to have been quite the model. Did everything go as planned?
LAYLA BROCK: It did, it did. When you work in big events, everything seems to go as planned; as long as the fans don't see anything going on behind the scenes, we feel like it's going well and it really did. There were a few fires but we put them all out. We were fortunate enough to be nominated and win the Sports Journal's event of the year. We did a great job with the help of everyone in North Texas who hosted the game for us in the first year of the playoff. We did a fantastic job and can't wait to bring it down here to the Valley of the Sun.
TED SIMONS: We have a lot of folks civic minded here, public policy oriented. With Downtown Phoenix, Tempe, Scottsdale, what's involved here? How much activity is involved?
LAYLA BROCK: Absolutely, it's a great deal of coordination and the City has done a great job. Having hosted the Bowl, they know what to do. They put together working groups, public safety, transportation, traffic, everyone, they all understand what's involved with a big event like this. They coordinate with us and the local organizing committee to make sure everything's covered.
TED SIMONS: So as far as a timetable is concerned, we haven't even started the football season yet, but this really never stops, does it?
LAYLA BROCK: It really doesn't. You should start to see information coming out about how to get involved as a fan or just as a spectator. The local organizing committee will put things out in the newspapers and on the news about how to come out and help us out at fan central. Whether it's helping us out with some of the interactives or with some of the VIPs coming into the area. That's what you can look to see. As far as the talent announced, we're looking to do that in the late fall. Tickets go on sale late fall and we hope you're excited about the talent we're hoping to get.
TED SIMONS: Sounds like this college playoff will be around for a while? They change this stuff all the time. How far ahead are you looking?
LAYLA BROCK: 12 years, yes. So yeah, absolutely. The way the cities are selected for this game is very similar to the Super Bowl again. It's a competitive bidding process. We're in the process of selecting the next few cities, the next three years. We have about nine cities bidding on it. Arizona was successful in our second bidding process, we were very happy for them to be a part of the CFP family. Tampa will be our host next year and after that we're figuring out who's going to be our host.
TED SIMONS: All we care about is this year.
LAYLA BROCK: Exactly.
TED SIMONS: Good to have you here, good luck, promises to be quite the event.
LAYLA BROCK: Thank you.
TED SIMONS: Thank you.
Layla Brock: director of operations and logic for the College Football Playoff