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Bids sought to host preliminary rounds of FCS playoff

16 potential sites will be identified April 6

The Division I Football Oversight Committee on Thursday approved a recommendation that up to 16 potential preliminary-round host sites for the 2020-21 Division I Football Championship Subdivision playoff be identified by April 6.

Host sites for the eight first-round games would then be selected from those 16 preapproved sites. The Division I Football Championship Committee created this proposal and is following the guidelines set by the NCAA COVID-19 Medical Advisory Group.

The deadline for bid materials to be received by the NCAA is April 5.

The rationale for this proposal was to ensure all preliminary-round sites are properly certified for COVID-19 testing and have adequate time to coordinate the necessary logistical and operational requirements. By identifying 16 potential sites by April 6, the committee is providing those sites nearly three weeks to prepare for a potential first-round game April 24.

Also, selecting 16 potential sites before the selection meetings mitigates the risk that a school may be selected to host a game without its team participating in that game.

This approach provides the committee maximum flexibility when selecting host sites during the selection process.

During the bracketing process, the committee will pick eight of those 16 preapproved sites to serve as a first-round host based on the makeup of the bracket.

The quarterfinal and semifinal host sites also would be selected from the preapproved sites based on the makeup of the bracket.

In pre-pandemic times, the higher-seeded team had the option to host preliminary-round games, depending on the availability of its facility, in the FCS championship.

The final of the FCS championship will be at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas.