Tampa To Be The Life Of The Party With College Football Playoffs

Concerts, Events And Football To Make Tampa Booming

Tampa is just days away from hosting on of college football’s biggest games of the year: the College Football Playoff National Championship at Raymond James Stadium.

With the game comes a three-day concert festival at Curtis Hixon Park, which has taken months of planning.

“Having conversations between the Sykes people about what we want to do, getting that approved, working with TPD, and being able to call Claire (Lessinger) or Rob Higgins (from the Tampa Bay Sports Commission) and say, ‘Hey, we’re not down there right now, can you get us in touch with so and so?’ They’ve been great,” said Jonathan Foucheaux, co-owner of the New Orleans-based Solomon Group, which is producing the concerts, to the Tampa Bay Times.

The festival is called Playoff Playlist Live and includes concerts by Usher, Flo Rida, Eric Paslay, Gavin DeGraw, and many others. It is going to be one of the biggest events within many public and private parties, concerts and fan fest surrounding the Alabama-Clemson showdown.

The events are interconnected via the Tampa Bay Sports Commission, which planned the city’s bid for the game and is the liaison for each event to the community.

“We kind of provide a one-stop shop of services,” said Lessinger, the Tampa Bay Sports Commission’s director of special events, to the Tampa Bay Times. “They check in here and see what we can provide and assist with, and we have layers and layers of what we can provide.”

The College Football Playoff isn’t quite the Super Bowl, but it is bigger than Tampa’s 2008 and 2015 Women’s Final Fours and 2012 and 2016 Frozen Fours.

“When you combine the fan events with the private events, and you break them out per night, we’re probably well over 30 events,” said Rob Higgins, the commission’s executive director, to the Tampa Bay Times.

Of course that includes new events to the area, such as the Championship Beach Bash in Clearwater and Championship Yacht Village in downtown Tampa.

“We’re basically managing and running the whole thing, and then college football is essentially supporting it,” said Jenna Smith, manager of the Tampa Bay Sports Commission’s Event Development Institute, to the Tampa Bay Times.

Festivities for the College Football Playoff begins this weekend as teams arrive and the party begins.