Tampa preps for next year's national title game

Posted at 8:07 PM, Jan 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-13 03:26:16-05

When the final whistle blew in last night's huge national championship game, the college football world took a sign of relief after a great game. But now it's game on for the city of Tampa. Raymond James Stadium will be the site of next year's game.

City administrators told ABC Action News that a delegation of about 30 people from Tampa were in Arizona over the weekend, meeting with city leaders there. The group was getting a bit of insight to ensure things in Tampa next year are perfect for visitors coming into the city.

Tampa has been the site of plenty of big events, including four Super Bowls and the Republican National Convention. The College Football National Championship Game on Jan. 9, 2017, will be on par with those events. Administrators with the city told ABC Action News that Hillsborough County, the Florida Department of Transportation, Tampa International Airport and even the Florida Highway Patrol will play a part in the planning.

Something that folks here in Tampa will notice: Raymond James will be undergoing a multi-million dollar renovation. Major upgrades are planned before the big game.

Around town, the emphasis will be on the city's urban parks, which city administrators said will serve to highlight the city for visitors. Many of those parks will also be used as event spaces for game-related activities.

"We plan well in advance. The Republican National Convention, which was probably the largest event that we've hosted here in Tampa, we worked on that for a year and a half prior to the event," said administrator of economic opportunity Bob McDonaugh.

Don't forget about the economic impact of the game. Experts estimate that it could bring in close to $350 million to the Tampa area.