Report: Rose Bowl agrees to clear way for College Football Playoff expansion

The College Football Playoff may not have just a four-team field much longer.

Rose Bowl game organizers informed CFP officials Wednesday they are willing to alter agreements for the 2024 and ’25 seasons, clearing the way for the playoff to expand to 12 teams, The Associated Press reported.

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A person with knowledge of the discussions between game organizers and CFP officials told the AP that the Rose Bowl is prepared to be flexible and wants to continue to be part of the playoff beyond 2025.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the presidents and chancellors who oversee the playoff still needed to give final approval on expansion plans.

The university presidents and chancellors who oversee the playoff were seeking a decision from Rose Bowl officials about whether they would amend contracts for the 2024 and ’25 seasons and allow the CFP to triple in size from four teams to 12.

The Rose Bowl is scheduled to have a traditional Pac-12-Big Ten matchup in those seasons. To have a 12-team playoff, instead of the current four teams, the Rose Bowl would need to host a semifinal in its traditional Jan. 1 time slot.

Rose Bowl officials had asked the CFP to guarantee the game would remain on New Year's Day in the new format for 2026 and beyond.

CFP leaders balked.

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The original 12-year contract the CFP has with ESPN expires after the 2025-26 season. CFP officials had being unwilling to make any binding commitments about the College Football Playoff beyond 2025.

Expanding the College Football Playoff is expected to bring in an extra $450 million in gross revenue over the final two years of the current contract.

The Rose Bowl is one of six that currently rotate as hosts of the CFP semifinals every three years. The five other bowls and host cities for the championship games scheduled to be held after the 2024 and ‘25 seasons had already agreed to accommodate a new CFP format.

Had the Rose Bowl stood in the way of early expansion, the 122-year-old bowl game dubbed the Granddaddy of Them All could have been left out of the next set of deals with the CFP.

Two weeks ago, Rose Bowl organizers told The AP in a statement: “We have no intention of being the lone roadblock that would keep expansion from happening before the end of its current cycle.”