Dierks Bentley to headline Championship Tailgate, Little Big Town to perform the National Anthem


CFP to pay tribute to our military with participation from MacDill AFB and U.S. Special Operations Command


IRVING, TexasThe College Football Playoff (CFP) today announced the pregame entertainment lineup surrounding the College Football Playoff National Championship, Monday, January 9, 2017, at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.


Multi-Platinum singer and songwriter Dierks Bentley will headline the Capital One Quicksilver® Music Stage from Championship Tailgate, the ultimate pregame event adjacent to Raymond James Stadium. Bentley has tallied 15 No. 1s and 14 GRAMMY nods over the course of his career and just released the title track from his critically acclaimed album BLACK, which follows two consecutive No. 1 hits: the CMA award-winning and GRAMMY nominated “Different for Girls” feat. Elle King and the multi-week Platinum No. 1 song “Somewhere On A Beach.” Bentley has been a Grand Ole Opry member for over a decade and will launch his 2017 world tour on January 19 in Dayton, Ohio. 


Pop band The Shadowboxers will open for Bentley. Described by The Nashville Scene as "a harmony-driven, funk-footed quintet, which combines elements of modern pop, '70s-style AM radio folk and classic R&B," the group was discovered by Justin Timberlake and subsequently signed to his artist development company, Villa 40.


Championship Tailgate will take place from Noon to 6:30 p.m. ET. The interactive area will allow fans to gather and enjoy games, sponsor activities, concessions and ESPN broadcast sets. The event is free for all ticket holders attending the national championship game.


Prior to kickoff, GRAMMY Award-winning group Little Big Town will perform the Star-Spangled Banner. The Platinum-selling group recently received its fifth consecutive Vocal Group of the Year Award at the Country Music Association Awards, earning the same honor at the Academy of Country Music Awards along with Vocal Event of the Year. Little Big Town has taken home over 16 major awards over the past five years, including a GRAMMY, multiple CMA and ACM awards, and an Emmy. New song, “Better Man,” is the group’s fastest-rising hit to date and the lead single from their seventh studio album, The Breaker, due out in February.


The national anthem will feature a flight from Challenger, the American Eagle Foundation’s famous free-flying bald eagle. The Nation's Colors will be presented by a MacDill Air Force Base Honor Guard.


In celebration of the 30th Anniversary of the United States Special Operations Command, the American Flag and the participating team flags will be brought into Raymond James Stadium by members of the Tampa-based US Special Operations Command Para-Commandos.


Pregame, halftime and postgame pageantry will be produced by Michael T. Fiur Productions, one of the leading producers of live event and sports spectaculars in the world.


On-field, pregame festivities on January 9, will begin at 7:30 p.m. ET.  The game will feature the winner of the Playoff Semifinal at the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl against the winner of the Playoff Semifinal at the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl.


Join the conversation on Twitter using the official hashtag #CFBPlayoff. For more information on the College Football Playoff and the national championship game, visit



About the College Football Playoff

The College Football Playoff matches the No. 1 seed vs. No. 4, and No. 2 vs. No. 3 in semifinal games that rotate annually among the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, Goodyear Cotton Bowl, Capital One Orange Bowl, Allstate Sugar Bowl, Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual and PlayStation Fiesta Bowl. The 2016 semifinals will take place December 31, at the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl and PlayStation Fiesta Bowl. The national championship game will be Monday, January 9, 2017, at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.