Mayor: Tampa prepared for college football championship game

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TAMPA (FOX 13) - In a news conference Wednesday, Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn said the city is prepared for the influx of approximately 70,000 fans for Monday's College Football Championship Game.

Buckhorn spoke to reporters alongside Tampa Police, representatives from the Tampa Sports Authority and the College Football Playoff. Buckhorn said the city has been planning since officials announced Tampa as the host city in 2013.

Locals and visitors can expect traffic delays this weekend through the game on Monday. The city is urging people to take public transportation or ride sharing services along with the new downtown shuttle. It's also encouraging people to park at garages further from events downtown, like the free concert series, and take free shuttles.

Security will also be tight, according to Tampa Police. Officers are prepared and on high alert after recent terrorist attacks targeting large public events abroad.

"We've been training for the last year specifically for this event between table-top exercise and practical application and going out and training and looking at the venues and conducting our own surveys of the venues," said Eric Ward, Tampa Police chief.

"I think we're well prepared. We've run a thousand scenarios through. We can't plan for eveything but I can tell you now we're as safe as we're going to get," Ward said.

The city has put imporant information concerning the championship game on

AT&T has partnered with Raymond James Stadium to increase cell phone service in and around the stadium, spending $9 million for an additional 100 antennas. The carrier also has two mobile cell towers stationed at one of the team hotels and Tampa International Airport.

Buckhorn says he's confident the game will give Tampa another chance to shine on the national stage.

"There is nobody in the country that does these big events better than Tampa, Florida," said Buckhorn.