After a thrilling college football championship game in Tampa, the focus turns to Atlanta for next year's contest.
 
The 2018 title will be decided at $1.5 billion Mercedes-Benz Stadium, a retractable-roof facility that is scheduled to open this summer near downtown Atlanta. 
 
(Icon Sportswire via AP Images)
 
City officials, including Mayor Kasim Reed, attended Monday night's game in Tampa to get tips that might help with their hosting duties. On Tuesday, a ceremonnial helmet was passed from one city to the other to mark the beginning of a new championship cycle.
 
Reed praised the organization of the Tampa game, in which Clemson upset top-ranked Alabama 35-31 with a last-second touchdown pass. He said the Atlanta delegation learned some valuable lessons on public safety and traffic organization.
 
(Logan Bowles via AP Images)
 
This year's event also marked a change from the first two national chhampionship games. Most of the fan, media and team activities were centered around Tampa's picturesque waterfront, a striking contrast with the spread-out arrrangements in the Dallas-Fort Worth and Phoenix areas.
 
Atlanta will have a similar arrangment to Tampa, with most hotels and events _ as well as the game itself _ based around Centennial Olympic Park.
 
"Now, if they can just deliver us a game like we had last night, all will be well," Reed joked.
 
 (Icon Sportswire via AP Images)
 
Bill Hancock, executive director of the College Football Playoff, said the success of Tampa might lead the selection committee to lean toward cities with compact bids.
 
The next available championship game is in 2021, with Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California set to host in 2019, followed by the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.
 
"The concise footprint here got our attention," Hancock said. "I think that will bring it a little higher in the selection criteria."
 
Tampa officials are already lobbying to to host another championship game. In fact, they scheduled a meeting later Tuesday to begin preliminary discussions on their next bid.