College National Championship Brings More Football – and Traffic! – to Tampa Bay
Tampa Bay is the place for college football! Last weekend, the Outback Bowl brought fans from the University of Florida and the University of Iowa. Next week, Clemson University will face off against the University of Alabama in the 2017 College Football National Championship.
Crimson Tide vs. Tigers
The Crimson Tide hold a #1 ranking, plus a 14-0 season record. They vanquished the Clemson Tigers in last year’s national championship, and according to recent statistics, have a 51% chance of doing it again. However, Clemson’s 13-1 record is also impressive.
And what do both teams have in common? Passionate fans. Both are large southern universities, with dedicated students and alumni. The playoff game, which takes place on Monday, January 9th, is sure to bring lots of cheering, tailgating, and rivalry.
Like the Outback Bowl, the championship will cause delays and traffic around Raymond James Stadium. On game day, expect congestion around I-275, the Courtney Campbell Causeway, and the Veteran’s Expressway. Unlike the Outback Bowl, the championship takes place on a workday, so factor in some extra time if you work in downtown Tampa. The game starts at 8:30 P.M., but excited tailgaters will likely be lining up throughout the day.
Events Across Tampa Bay
It’s not all football, either. A three day concert, Playoff Playlist Live, will coincide with the game. It takes place in Curtis Hixon Park, and includes artists like Usher, Flo Rida, Rachel Platten, and Cold War Kids. Other events are also taking place around Tampa Bay, like the Championship Beach Bash at Clearwater Beach and numerous private events. A 5K run takes place in downtown Tampa on Sunday, going through areas of Bayshore Boulevard. These events are likely to increase traffic (and make parking spots even more coveted than they already are) so plan accordingly if you’re venturing out this weekend.
Waterways will also be affected. Waterways like the Hillsborough River, Garrison Channel, and the basin near the Tampa Convention Center will be crowded. Officials remind boaters to avoid accidents by slowing their speed and being mindful of others. Of course, everyone should also remember to never operate a water vessel while intoxicated!
Regardless of if you’ll be boating, driving, tailgating, or simply trying to get through Tampa traffic, be aware and responsible during the college football national championship.
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