Bowl game fever sweeps Tampa Bay

- Tampa Bay has bowl fever.

Monday's St. Petersburg Bowl at Tropicana Field, between Mississippi State and Miami (Ohio), is merely the under card.

On January 2nd, Florida will take on Iowa at Raymond James Stadium in the Outback Bowl.

January 9th's National Championship could bring perennial powerhouses like Alabama and Ohio State.

Florida's following is obvious.

Alabama and Ohio State have fans across the country.

"I love the out of town teams that come into town, a lot of them travel very well," said Walter Hill, owner of the Press Box. "The national championship, that's probably going to be bigger than any Super Bowl we have ever had."

The owner of the Press Box, touted as Tampa's oldest sports bar, says he'll have nearly two dozen waiters and an outdoor tent. 

They're ready to handle the expected crowd, which he says will go beyond just those who have tickets.

"People just come to town just to be a part of the celebration, there's only one national championship college football game each year, and people just travel to be there for the festivity," said Hill.

Tampa city officials estimate the economic impact, just for the National Championship, could exceed $200 million.

The estimate for last year's economic impact for the game in Arizona was estimated at $274 million.

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