December 2, 2009

ACC Championship Game - Your complete travel guide

I am making the 8+ hour drive with my friends on Friday to go see our Tigers play in the ACC Championship game and despite not looking forward to the hours spent on I-95, I am thrilled and excited about Saturday -- rain or no rain.

I decided to help out my fellow Clemson fans who will also be making the trek and provide some helpful info and links, all in one place, to save you the effort and Google search time.


Make sure you pack accordingly - the weather is looking wet this weekend. From the National Weather Service, the Tampa Bay forecast for this weekend:

Friday: Showers and a chance of thunderstorms. Highs in the upper 60s. Northeast winds 10 to 20 mph near the coast and north around 10 mph inland. Chance of rain 80 percent.

Friday Night: Cloudy with showers likely and a slight chance of thunderstorms. Lows in the upper 50s. East winds 10 to 15 mph near the coast and northeast around 5 mph inland. Chance of rain 70 percent.

Saturday: Mostly cloudy. Showers likely and a slight chance of thunderstorms in the morning...then slight chance of showers in the afternoon. Highs in the lower 70s. South winds 10 to 20 mph shifting to the northwest in the afternoon. Chance of rain 60 percent.

Saturday Night: Partly cloudy. Slight chance of showers. Lows in the mid 50s near the coast and in the mid 40s inland. Chance of rain 20 percent.

Sunday Through Monday Night: Partly cloudy. Highs in the lower 70s. Lows in the lower 60s near the coast and in the lower 50s inland.

Directions to Tampa

There will definitely be traffic, so keep up to date on I-95 and I-75 traffic throughout the day and find alternate routes when necessary. You can click a 'Traffic' button on any of the Google maps above to view the flow of traffic (green means flowing, yellow means slow, red means stopped).

The Web site is great for you SC folks who will take I-95 down - they have helpful information about exits, construction and traffic along I-95 - view traffic maps by city: Jacksonville, Orlando. View Rest Area locations along I-95 in Florida.

And look, they have a site for I-75 as well - Traffic maps for both Atlanta, Ocala and Tampa. View Rest Area locations along I-75 in Florida.

Friday Night

If you get into Tampa in time for dinner (or a late dinner), view a list of Tampa's most popular restaurants.

If you get into Tampa sooner or plan to do more than tailgate and see the game, visit this site to see what else there is to do in Tampa.

Saturday/Game day -----------------------------------------------------

The game will be at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Raymond James Stadium - 4201 North Dale Mabry Highway (click here for a map).

If you don't plan on driving to the game or your hotel doesn't offer a shuttle to the stadium, check out the public transit system in Tampa - HART - for fares, schedules, and maps.

Gameday Parking

Click here to view a parking lot map for the stadium (NOTE: Not ACC game specific - couldn't find a map anywhere for ACC game).

Just talked to customer service (813-350-6500) at Raymond James stadium - lots will open at 4pm. Handicapped parking is available in Lot A and Lot C. The lot costs will be $25.

Tents larger than 10' x 10' are not permitted.

Actions not permitted in parking lots (some funny, some surprising): Weapons or fireworks; Infringing on another guests area when tailgating; Saving parking spaces; Throwing or kicking of balls or other objects; Disorderly conduct (including profanity); Running or jogging**; Picketing or political campaigning; Distributing handbills or pamphlets; All cars are subject to search

**What?? Really?? Lol!


Since most of us are traveling long distances to get to this game, preparing and packing a bunch of food for tailgating isn't ideal.

Publix has some great pre-made platters that would be perfect for tailgates - small deli sandwich plates, chicken finger plates, cheese plates, vege plates, fruit plates, etc. There are a few Publix stores close by to the stadium - swing by and grab a styrofoam cooler, ice, drinks, and a few party platters and you're set to tailgate.

Or if you'd rather not worry about food at all, and you'd like to walk to a nearby restaurant, visit Urban Spoon to see the restaurants located around the stadium - and see menus, costs, and ratings.

Don't have tickets to the game? Find the best sports bars in Tampa and watch the game there.

There are also some pep-rallies and events planned you may want to participate in:

  • 5:00 pm to 7:30 pm - ACC Fan Fest, South Lot of the stadium
  • 5:15 pm - ACC Mascot game (at ACC Fan Fest)
  • 5:45 pm - 6:00 pm - Clemson Pep Rally (at ACC Fan Fest)
  • 6:30 pm - James Otto concert (at ACC Fan Fest) - guy who sings ACC commercials

In the Stadium

Game starts at 8 pm. If you're not in Tampa, it will be on ESPN.

Make sure you find the right seat. View a seating chart for the ACC game.

A few stadium do's and do nots to remember...

Items Not Allowed: Containers including cans, bottles, glasses, and coolers; food or drink; Umbrellas or anything that would obstruct a fan's view; Strollers; Weapons/fireworks; Poles/Sticks(except those to assist disabled guests); Objects that may become missiles or projectiles; Horns or whistles of any type; lasers; Footballs; Pets (except assistive animals); Recording Devices, video cameras, cameras with lenses longer than 12"; No Re-entry; Large bags or purses; Backpacks; Seat Cushions; Banners or Flags with sticks or poles

Items Allowed: binoculars; cameras; lenses under 12"; blankets and towels if unrolled or unfolded; small/handheld radios or TVs with earphones; hats; banners/flags WITHOUT sticks or poles; empty spray bottle; backpack purses, diaper bags, and other reasonably sized bags; ponchos (if worn or carried over the arm or in original factory sealed package); fanny packs; small megaphones

Question: Will there be alcohol served during the game?
Answer: Only for Club Level seats - before the game and during half time.

One Last Reminder!

Be sure to stop by your bank and get $2 bills to spend in Tampa - stamp them with a Tiger Paw stamp or draw your own using an orange or purple marker.

From Wikipedia: "It has been a Clemson tradition dating from September 24, 1977 for Clemson fans to spend two dollar bills on away game trips. This began when Clemson played Georgia Tech "for the last time" as Tech refused to travel to Clemson. Of the seventeen games played between Tech and Clemson between 1953 and 1977, only once, in 1974, did the Yellow Jackets deign to come to Death Valley. To show the Atlanta business community how much money Clemson fans contributed to the local economy which would not be coming to town anymore, Tiger fans spent vast quantities of two dollar bills, many of them stamped with Tiger Paws. This was the start of Clemson's two dollar bill tradition, which, while very popular in the 1980s and 1990s, may have waned a bit."

If you have any other info about the game this weekend or Tampa that you think would be helpful, please post comments to this blog. See everyone in Tampa! Go Tigers!!


1 comment :

SuthernStrawberry said...

I'm so jealous! My husband & oldest son will be going, but I'll be at home with the baby because my work requires me to be on call in December @ all times {insert big pouty face here}

Y'all make sure to show Tampa what the Tigers are all about!

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