TAMPA (FOX 13) - Thousands came to Tampa on Monday for the 31st annual Outback Bowl at Raymond James Stadium.
The brought with them the aroma of football tailgating. "You have to shake them in the sauce," explained a man wearing a Tampa Bay Lightning cap.
With Iowa meeting Florida, many fans came from far away.
"Win or lose, we're still going to have fun. It's better than being in Iowa," offered a man dressed in a gold and black suit with an Iowa Hawkeyes emblem.
Good thing he had that attitude -- his Hawkeyes fell to the Gators, 30 to 3.
The Outback Bowl began as the Hall of Fame Bowl, but Outback become the title sponsor in 1995 and remains the longest-running name sponsor of any college bowl game.
Bowl organizers says the game has contributed over $1-billion to the local economy in its 31 years.
This year, Tampa gets a double whammy. The College Football Playoff National Championship Game comes to RayJay in just one week, January 9.