Free concerts, fanfest part of College Football National Championship celebration

Setup is underway at Tampa's Curtis Hixon Park.

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) –  You don’t have to have a ticket to Monday’s 2017 College Football National Championship to partake in other game-related events in the Tampa Bay area.

Some big musical stars are coming to downtown Tampa for free concerts at Curtis Hixon Park and there will be a fanfest held at the Tampa Convention Center.

Usher, Gavin Degraw, and Flo Rida are just a few of the stars who will perform at the concerts, which will draw huge crowds at Curtis Hixon Park and could create possible traffic and parking headaches.

Around 20,000 people are expected to attend the free concerts each night, so you’ll need to plan your commute and parking ahead of time.

The parking garage by Curtis Hixon won’t be a go-to option since many event staff plan on parking there. But, you have a lot of other choices. Those tricked-out golf carts you may of seen called the “Downtowner” are a free option to get around downtown.

The “In-Towner” shuttle provided by Hillsborough Area Regional Transit will also be running more frequently and will be a good alternative to driving.

City officials also recommend the TECO street car, Uber and Lyft as alternatives.

You’ll also need to plan for road closures.

Cass Street from Doyle Carlton Drive to Ashley Drive, as well as Franklin Street from Channelside Drive to Old Water Street, will be closed during the Downtown events listed with times below-

Playoff Fan Central at the Tampa Convention Center

  • Friday, Jan. 6 from 3pm to 8pm
  • Saturday, Jan. 7  from noon to 8pm
  • Sunday, Jan. 8 from noon to 8pm

Playoff Playlist Live at Curtis Hixon Park

  • Friday, Jan. 6 from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.
    • National recording artists: Shadowboxers, Clare Dunn and Eric Paslay
    • Fireworks show begins at 11 p.m.
  • Saturday, Jan. 7  from noon to 11 p.m.
    • Local recording artists: Southern Train, Save the Radio
    • National recording artists: Cold War Kids, Rachel Platten and Flo Rida
    • Fireworks show begins at 11 p.m.
  • Sunday, Jan. 8 from noon to 11 p.m.
    • Local recording artists: Trigger City Trio, Soul Circus Cowboys
    • National recording artists: Jamie N Commons, Gavin Degraw and Usher
    • ESPN Sports Center will be broadcasting live

Additional closures include-

Ashley Drive will have the southbound outside lane closed until midnight on Jan. 5.

Gasparilla Plaza from Cass Street to Ashley Drive will be closed in both directions until midnight on Jan. 10.

Bayshore Boulevard will be closed in both directions from Howard Avenue to Brorein Street. The Platt Street Bridge/Channelside Drive will also be closed from Bayshore Boulevard to Brorein Street. Access to local business will be maintained on Platt Street to Bayshore Boulevard. These closures will be in affect from 6 m to 10:30am on Sunday, January 8th.

RELATED: 2017 College Football National Championship: What to Know Before You Go provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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