Tampa Bay Business Journal: February 22, 2013

TAMPA - In this week's Tampa Bay Business Journal segment, editor Alexis Muellner discusses how Tampa could host a college football National Championship game, where auto sales could head in 2013, and the ongoing search for a new Tampa Bay & Company CEO.

In 2014, a new post-season playoff format debuts for college football. There will be two semi-final games followed by a National Championship game.

The semi-finals will be rotated between six current bowl games.

The National Championship game will be played at a different location every year. Cities will have the chance to bid to host the game.

Tampa is expected to be one of the cities competing to host the National Championship game. With proposed infrastructure upgrades at Raymond James Stadium and the experience of hosting multiple Super Bowls, Tampa seems like an ideal choice.

"Naturally, we are extremely interested in getting that here," said Rob Higgins, executive director of the Tampa Bay Sports Commission. "We (will be) a strong candidate."

The National Auto Dealers Association predicts 15.4 million vehicles will be sold this year, and increase of nearly 1 million over 2012.

The reason is a better economy and more readily available consumer credit. An increase of sales will allow auto dealerships to hire more employees and make needed upgrades at their stores.

Tampa Bay & Company continues to search for a new chief executive officer. The previous CEO and president, Kelly Miller, resigned October 31.

Jim Dean, president of Busch Gardens Tampa Bay and chairman of the board of Tampa Bay & Company, told the Tampa Bay Business Journal a search committee is reviewing more than 100 applications.

The organization is the official tourism marketing corporation for Hillsborough County and having effective leadership is very important as a lot of the Bay Area's economy depends on tourism dollars.

For more information on these stories, click on the video player on the left, go to www.youtube.com/watch?v=BsKP3kCLlA4 or pick up this week's Tampa Bay Business Journal available on newsstands.

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