CFP title game adds halftime concert, but bands will play on
The College Football Playoff is bringing a Super Bowl-style halftime show to the national championship game without bumping the marching bands.
ESPN and the College Football Playoff say that a musical guest will perform at halftime of this season's title game in Atlanta on Jan. 8, 2018, and the performance will be aired on ESPN. The halftime concert will be held in Centennial Olympic Park, near the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium. An artist has not yet been booked, but ESPN is taking the lead on securing what it hopes will be an A-list performer with broad appeal.
For years the Super Bowl has featured marquee artists such as Bruce Springsteen, Beyonce', U2 and Prince performing at halftime.
The marching bands for each participating school will still perform in the stadium at halftime of the national title game and that performance will be aired on an ESPN channel to be determined as part of the network's megacast.
"Traditions are an important part of college football," College Football Playoff Executive Director Bill Hancock said in a statement to the AP on Monday "This rich culture includes marching bands performing at halftime."
Hancock said ESPN approached CFP officials with the idea of a concert in Centennial Olympic Park at halftime as part of the national championship game broadcast and live watch party. Fans without tickets to the game will be able to watch the game and attend the concert in Centennial Park for free.
"This will be a win-win, enhancing the viewing experience for a broad section of fans at home and in the park, while maintaining the culture of the game inside the stadium," Hancock said.