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Volume 20 No. 42
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Scenes from the CFP Championship in Tampa

The Tampa-St. Petersburg area put on its pirate finery to welcome Alabama and Clemson fans to town for the College Football Playoff Championship on Jan. 9. The area’s roster of events for visitors included a beach bash featuring some spirited sand football. ESPN brought out the stars for its party, and the National Football Foundation honored the NFL’s Tod Leiweke, a familiar face in town.

Crimson and orange filled Raymond James Stadium for the game Jan. 9. A stadium-record crowd of 74,512 saw Clemson win 35-31.
Photo by: ALEXIS MUELLNER / TAMPA BAY BUSINESS JOURNAL
Ready for the game: Auburn coach Gus Malzahn, former Tampa Bay Buccaneer Derrick Brooks, ESPN analyst and former NFL quarterback Danny Kanell and ESPN analyst Tim Tebow.
Photo by: NOLA LALEYE
The National Football Foundation inducted NFL COO (and former Tampa Bay Lightning CEO) Tod Leiweke into its Leadership Hall of Fame: NFF Chairman Archie Manning, Third Lake Capital CEO Ken Jones, Leiweke, Tampa Bay Lightning CEO Steve Griggs and Lightning owner Jeff Vinik.
Photo by: NATIONAL FOOTBALL FOUNDATION
ESPN played host to “Allstate Party at the Playoff” at the historic Kress building in downtown Tampa.
Photo by: NOLA LALEYE
The Gasparilla pirate ship was a must-have waterfront photo.
Photo by: GETTY IMAGES
ESPN’s Sage Steele and Carolynn Smith of Seven PR & Marketing
Photo by: NOLA LALEYE

Rob Higgins, executive director of the Tampa Bay Sports Commission, at  the Championship Beach Bash
Photo by: NOLA LALEYE
The DirecTV blimp, in town for the game, checked out Raymond James Stadium in its CFP finery.
Photo by: NOLA LALEYE
Clemson President James Clements took advantage of a selfie moment with fans at the stadium.
Photo by: GETTY IMAGES
ESPN set up near the pirate ship in the stadium end zone.
Photo by: ALEXIS MUELLNER / TAMPA BAY BUSINESS JOURNAL
UFC’s Dana White made a sideline appearance on Clemson’s play cards (that’s him next to Tom and Jerry).
Photo by: GETTY IMAGES