ARLINGTON, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – North Texas continues to be a hub for major sporting events during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Officials announced Saturday evening the College Football Playoff semifinal at Rose Bowl Stadium in California has been relocated to AT&T Stadium in Arlington. The game will take place on Jan. 1, 2021.

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According to officials, the decision was made to move the game from Pasadena, California due to increased coronavirus cases in the area and because fans would not be allowed at the game.

The Associated Press reported Rose Bowl officials were denied twice for an exception to the state orders on fans at games.

“We know that the decision was not an easy one to make,” said David Eads, Tournament of Roses CEO and Executive Director. “While we remain confident that a game could have been played at the Rose Bowl Stadium, as evident in the other collegiate and professional games taking place in the region, the projection of COVID-19 cases in the region has continued on an upward trend.”

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Bill Hancock, executive director of the College Football Playoff, released a statement on the decision that read, in part:

“The game in Dallas will still be played in the mid-afternoon window on New Year’s Day.

We are pleased that parents and loved ones will now be able to see their students play in the game.

We are very grateful to Rose Bowl officials and the City of Pasadena. They have worked hard to listen to the concerns of the CFP, the teams that might have played there, and their state and government officials. The Tournament of Roses has acted in the best interest of the people who live in Southern California. And we’re grateful to Cotton Bowl and AT&T Stadium officials for their ability to make this late switch possible.

Add this to the list of ways 2020 has demanded flexibility and last-minute accommodation from everyone in college football. Given all the complexities and difficulties involved, this is the best outcome for everyone concerned.” 

Top-ranked Alabama will be facing off against No. 4 Notre Dame in this semifinal game.

The city of Arlington has hosted numerous sporting events during the pandemic as a limited number of fans have been allowed to attend. The MLB’s National League Championship Series and World Series events were played at Globe Life Field this year.

AT&T Stadium has welcomed fans at every Dallas Cowboys home game during the regular season. It also hosted the National Finals Rodeo, which was moved from Las Vegas, earlier this month and the Big 12 Championship game on Saturday between the Oklahoma Sooners and Iowa State Cyclones.

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CBSDFW.com Staff