Tampa officials already prepping for 2021 National Championship bid

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn was beaming with pride Tuesday, after five days of college football celebration, calling the entire weekend an unprecedented success.

“We have proven that we can do this on any stage, at anytime, anywhere,” he said at a news conference Tuesday morning.

Tampa rolled out the red carpet for tens of thousands of people and they noticed. College Football Playoff executives also took note.

“We had record crowds at Playoff Fan Central, we had record crowds at CFP Playlist Live, we had record crowds at Taste of the Championship,” said Michael Kelly, COO of College Football Playoff.

“Record-breaking” was a common theme for the weekend ending at Raymond James Stadium.

Monday, it held more fans than ever before: 74,512 to be exact.

Due to the largest crowd in the stadium’s history, some people weren’t happy about long lines.

Many said they waited for as long as two hours.

Officials say that’s to be expected when tens of thousands of people are trying to get to the same place at the same time, especially when they upped security to get inside.

Meanwhile they will be looking at ways to improve.

“We’ll go through all of that, but at first glance here Tuesday morning, I think we executed flawlessly,” said Mayor Buckhorn.

Flawless execution is what it comes down to if Tampa wants to be the first city to host college football’s most important game– twice.

County commissioners, city staff and the Tampa Bay Sports Authority are already meeting and making plans to win the 2021 bid, so Tampa can shine again during the college football championship game.

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