Alumni associations for both the University of Alabama and Clemson University and their Tampa Bay area chapters have announced welcome parties for local and visiting fans to mingle the night before the national championship game, as well as viewing parties at Tampa bars and restaurants for those who aren't going to the game Monday at Raymond James Stadium.
FOR CLEMSON ALUMNI AND FANS
Clemson Welcome Party: The Clemson Alumni Association, Clemson IPTAY and Florida Clemson clubs host this welcome party for Tigers fans visiting the area and locals to meet up and mingle the Sunday before the big game. The main party begins at Yeoman's Cask and Lion (202 N. Morgan Street, Tampa) at 6:30 p.m.
As that location fills up, there will be overflow parties at these other downtown Tampa restaurants: Taps Wine and Beer Restaurant (6:30 p.m., 777 N. Ashley Drive), Anise Global Gastrobar (8 p.m., 777 N. Ashley Drive) and Pokey's (6:30 p.m., 100 E. Madison St.). The parties will include drink specials and Clemson fans are encouraged to wear orange and bring their Tiger $2 bills. Reps from Florida's Clemson alumni clubs will be at each bar to greet fans. Entry is free at all locations.
Clemson viewing parties: These bars will host official Clemson Alumni Association watch parties during the national championship game on Monday night. Kickoff is at 8:30 p.m., but Tampa Bay Clemson Club officers recommend arriving by 7:30. Entry is free at all locations.
• Quaker Steak & Lube, 10400 49th St. N., Clearwater
• Outpost Tavern, 909 W. Kennedy Blvd., Tampa
• Beef 'O' Brady's, 4516 S. Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa
The Tampa Bay chapter of the Clemson alumni association posts updates at facebook.com/TampaBayClemsonClub/.
FOR ALABAMA ALUMNI AND FANS
Alabama Crimson Tide Championship Kickoff Party: For all the Alabama fans in town, the Tampa Bay Crimson Tide Alumni Association is hosting a party Sunday night at 6 p.m. at Tampa Joe's, 9316 Anderson Road. The event is inside and outside under tents. The band Tin Pan Alley will perform live. There will be raffles, merchandise and memorabilia sales. There are multiple ticket options that can be purchased in advance or at the door. $40 all you can eat and drink (beer/wine/non-alcoholic), $25 all you can eat, or $10 entry and pay as you go. Get tickets at eventbrite.com. eventbrite.com/e/pre-championship-alumni-association-party-tickets-30797613491
Alabama viewing parties: The official Tampa Bay Crimson Tide Alumni Association watch party will be Monday at 7 p.m. at Tampa Joe's, 9316 Anderson Road. A special Alabama-themed pizza and an Alabama-themed drink special will be served. The game will be broadcast beginning at 8 p.m. on more than a dozen 50 and 60-inch TV's and will include live audio throughout the bar area.
The Tampa Bay Crimson Tide will also host a "satellite" watch party for fans in southeast Hillsborough County at EATS American Grill at Winthrop Town Centre in Riverview (6264 Winthrop Town Centre Blvd.). Entry to both parties is free.
The Tampa Bay chapter of the Alabama alumni association posts updates at facebook.com/tampabaycrimsontide/.