Cold not keeping National Championship concert goers away

Curtis Hixon Park packed Saturday night
Posted at 8:52 PM, Jan 07, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-09 02:00:32-05

The celebrations of National Championship weekend are now in full swing.  Despite cold temperatures Saturday, a large crowd still turned out for free concerts at Curtis Hixon Park Saturday night as part of the National Championship festivities.

Being bundled up in hats, scarves and gloves is not exactly how football fans were hoping to spend a weekend in Florida.

"We are actually trying to stay on the beach and we haven't been able to go out there.  That wasn't the plan!" said Alabama fan Christy Birmingham.

Despite the cold, it's still nicer than conditions back home.

"It's snowing at Clemson right now, so this is better than that!" said Clemson student and fan Ashley Green.

Christy Birmingham and her husband are die hard Crimson Tide fans and haven't missed a championship game in years.  And so far, they're enjoying their time in Tampa Bay, even with the less than perfect weather.

"In Miami, everything was kind of spread out and you didn't really ever feel like you got to have a good atmosphere of kind of like a party, so this is a lot better," said Birmingham.

Bobby Green and his family just got to town from South Carolina, just in time for Saturday's concerts which saw large crowds on a chilly night.

"We're trying to do the whole experience.  Since my daughter's a student there, we want to do the whole thing.  What are the chances of Clemson making it to a National Championship twice, back to back, while she's there?  We didn't go last year, so we wanted to make sure we came this year," said Bobby Green, Clemson fan.

Christie and Chuck Crouse are Clemson grads who call Tampa Bay home, and they're proud to see the city shine during this National Championship weekend.

"Unbelievable.  This is fantastic.  Too bad it couldn't have been a little bit warmer, but it's really neat for the city to do this," Chuck Crouse said.

And now all the fans are anxiously awaiting Monday's big game, hoping to go home champions.

Another round of free concerts are happening Sunday at Curtis Hixon Park, featuring headlining act Usher.  Fireworks follow the end of the show.