Football fans are about to take over Tampa Bay with the College National Championship Football game now less than a week away. There are ways to help make this weekend manageable even if you're not going to the game.
The field is being finessed, new banners are hung, and the countdown clock is ticking. The city of Tampa says it is ready for the National College Football Championship game.
"Our community's going to be on the absolute biggest of stages," said Rob Higgins, Tampa Bay Sports Commission executive director.
Up to 100,000 extra people will be packing into Tampa Bay for the big game and the dozens of other events tied to the championship.
"We've got to do everything we can to ensure they have a wonderful experience and memories that are going to last a lifetime," said Higgins.
Safety is a top priority for football fans and visitors. Tampa Police will have a robust team of uniformed and plain clothes officers keeping careful watch over all the festivities.
"We've ran a thousand scenarios through. We can't plan for everything. But I can tell you now, we're as safe as we're going to get," said Tampa Police Chief Eric Ward.
Whether you're going to the game or concerts or plan to avoid them like the plague, it's good to have a game plan for getting around.
"Downtown's going to be jumping. So we encourage everyone to make the plans, plan for delays, have a route you plan to take. Parking will be a challenge in downtown Tampa," said Mayor Bob Buckhorn.
You can text CFBPLAYOFF to 888 777 to get alerts on schedule changes, parking and traffic. There are also a ton of helpful hints at TampaBay2017.com.
And be sure to pack some patience between now and the end of Monday's game.