Raymond James Stadium

Tampa Bay Hosts 2017 National Collegiate Playoff

This is a killer sports year for Tampa Bay! We are playing host, for the first time in history, to the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship game, which will be played on January 9 in our very own Raymond James Stadium. As zealous college football fans know (or even not-so-zealous fans), this is nothing less than the Super Bowl of collegiate athletics. It’s going to fill our stadium to its max (that’s seriously 75,000 fans), and it will be an unparalleled sporting event for Tampa Bay. Really for the entire state.

Because it’s being played on our home turf, we Floridians actually have a crack at getting tickets this year. There’s even a drawing for a few lucky contest entrants. Plus, since the organizers are committed to making the event accessible for everyone—with or without tickets—there is a whole series of exciting events leading up to the championship game. The Tampa Convention Center will feature Playoff Fan Central every day during the game-day weekend, with a full schedule of family-friendly events, exhibits, pep rallies, and guest appearances.

If you want a side of music with your hard-hitting sports, AT&T is sponsoring three solid nights of big-name and up-and-coming bands in Curtis Hixon Park, followed by fireworks. You can also attend a Taste of the Championship celebrity chef event at the Florida Aquarium, featuring national and Tampa-based celebrity chefs, along with famous former college football players. And to work off all that high-end cuisine, why not participate in the family-friendly Extra Yard 5K run in the heart of Tampa’s Championship Campus?

And it’s not like we have to wait for January, when the big match-up finally takes place, to experience football frenzy. Because right now we have two powerhouse teams playing their home games at Ray Jay—our own Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the USF Bulls. What a year to watch the Bucs, led by Jameis Winston, our explosive second-year quarterback, fresh from his success at USF. It’s nothing short of awesome that we have the first overall NFL draft pick from last year to brag about!

So paint your face, bring your kids, get your best tailgate recipes ready. It’s game-time!

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