The FCS championship game is staying in North Texas for at least three more seasons.
The NCAA on Wednesday announced a three-year extension to stage its Football Championship Subdivision title game at FC Dallas Stadium in Frisco. That will keep the game in the growing suburb north of Dallas through at least the 2015 season.
''The committee is excited to announce this extension,'' said Appalachian State athletic director Charlie Cobb, chair of the Division I Football Committee. ''The entire local community, including the Southland Conference, has really embraced and supported this event. When you combine that enthusiasm with the quality of the stadium, it makes Frisco an outstanding environment for the participating student-athletes, coaches and fans.''
Defending champion North Dakota State (13-1) and Sam Houston State (11-3) will play in this season's title game on Jan. 5, a rematch of last year's game the Bison won 17-6. It will be the third FCS championship game in a row played in Frisco.
FC Dallas Stadium opened in 2005, a state-of-the-art soccer stadium that is home of Dallas' MLS team.
The game is sold out for the second year in a row, with a crowd of more than 20,000 expected again. The last time the championship game drew more than 20,000 fans in consecutive years was 1995-96.
''All of us in the Southland Conference are thrilled the NCAA has chosen to extend its relationship with Frisco,'' said Tom Burnett, the league commissioner. ''Since we began our hosting discussions with the NCAA in 2009, we were convinced our city had so many advantages for the NCAA, the participating teams, their fans, and the larger FCS community.''
The game was played in Chattanooga, Tenn., from 1997-2009. Before that, it was in Huntington, W.Va., from 1992-96 after being played in seven different cities from 1978-91.
Appalachian State was the last team to win consecutive FCS title games, with three championships in a row from the 2005-07 seasons.
Montana and Marshall were the last teams to play each other in back-to-back championship games, with Montana winning the 1995 title and Marshall the following season. Youngstown State and Marshall played three consecutive years (1991-93), with Marshall winning the middle game and Youngstown State winning the two.