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Photos from Tampa’s National Championship weekend

The College Football championship brought an estimated 100,000 people into Tampa, and I was one of them. When it comes to football, I am more into the tailgate and the halftime show than the game itself, so I drove into Tampa just for the weekend’s pre-game festivities. I started with Playoff Fan Central at the Tampa Convention Center, and then moved on to Curtis Hixon Park to see the Cold War Kids perform at AT&T’s Playoff Playlist Live.

The Tampa Convention Center was full of fun football challenges this weekend as Tampa geared up for the National Championship Game. Each of the game’s sponsors had set up some sort of game/sweepstakes within the Tampa Convention Center for the entertainment of visiting families. Many of these activities were geared towards children, but there was plenty for the adults as well, like field goal and quarterback practice activities.

Buick’s footbowling game. Instead of rolling a bowling ball at the pins, you throw a football. It’s harder than it looks.
Chick-fil-A set up a football training course in the Tampa Convention Center for the kids.
The youth sports clinic was very popular here.

Fans made football-themed Lego art at Fan Central
Player interviews at Fan Central
Buick parked several cars inside the Convention Center (How did they do this?). They parked a couple outside of the convention center as well, and were offering free rides to various downtown locations. After Fan Fest, I hitched a free ride to Curtis Hixon Park in a brand new Buick Lacrosse.

If I lived in Tampa, I might have attended every single evening of AT&T’s Playoff Playlist Live. Instead, I chose one act that I was interested in seeing, and tacked it on to my Fan Central visit. I arrived in Curtis Hixon Park just as indie rock band, the Cold War Kids, was starting their set. Going through security at the park entrance, the excitement was palpable. Later that evening, Jacksonville’s Flo Rida was set to perform.

Cold War Kids playing at Curtis Hixon Park during AT&T’s Playoff Playlist Live

The Cold War Kids gave a great performance, performing all their hits, including my favorites,”Hold My Home,” “Hang Me Up to Dry,” “Louder Than Ever,” and “We Used to Vacation.” It was unusually cold for Tampa that evening, and by the end of the set my teeth had begun to chatter. It was time to go home.

Jennifer Ring
Jennifer Ring is a freelance writer & photographer living in the Tampa Bay area, on Florida's west coast, home to some of the best beaches in the state.
http://flillustrated.com
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