National Championship festivities begin

Fans having fun in Tampa on Friday

TAMPA, Fla. - Fans of both teams are arriving to Tampa by land and sea for the College Football National Championship.

On the water downtown there are boats flying flags for both Clemson and Alabama..

“I love it. They need to host the National Championship every year. They have been such gracious hosts,” said Alabama fan Kelly Misko.

“If you are in Tampa, Florida or anywhere near Pinellas, Hillsborough County being on a boat is the way to do it. Tailgating is for people that are landlocked. This is the way to do it,” said Alabama fan Mike Dickinson, who lives in Clearwater.

This College Football Championship is so big Tampa even has two blimps here!

The Goodyear Blimp and DIRECTV blimp both spotted in the sky over Curtis Hixon Park Friday night.

You don’t have to have tickets to the game to enjoy the festivities this weekend.

It all started Friday night at Playoff Playlist Live.

Curtis Hixon Park is a set for a big concert festival.

Friday’s headliner was country star Eric Paslay. Saturday it’s Flo-Rida, then Sunday Usher takes the stage.

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Both teams will be at Amalie Arena Saturday morning to answer questions from hundreds of reporters during Media Day.

And you can watch it all in person for free.

Alabama is at 9 a.m., Clemson at 10:30 a.m.

And once again Playoff Fan Central is open Saturday and Sunday noon to 8 p.m.

Of course ESPN has wall to wall coverage. Their main set is at Curtis Hixon Park.

That’s where we caught up with former Texas Coach Mack Brown who lead Texas to the National Title in 2005.

“I think it’s (Tampa) is a great place to host this event. I came here and actually called the USF-Navy game earlier and we were talking about the event in the stadium. What a wonderful city. This weather is perfect. So you can’t beat it. And a lot of excitement for Monday night,” he said.

Tampa is already putting on a great show! And the game isn’t until Monday.

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