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Outback Bowl a success but may face challenges in 2017 | News

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Outback Bowl a success but may face challenges in 2017

Tampa, Florida -- It's a 28-year tradition that has become a staple of the New Year's Day bowl games. 

While there were gray skies and some sprinkles as the game began, the fans from Iowa and Louisiana were delighted to be in Florida where weather is a good deal warmer than what they are use to.  

From bands marching on the field, to a game of catch in the parking lot, the fun before the game is really all about making the fans happy and having them want to come back to the Tampa Bay Area.

It worked on fans like Colleen Shallow, a LSU fan that came here to cheer on her team, and fell in love with Tampa Bay, "Absolutely, we'll be back and it was fun." Shallows adds,"It's been great!"The kids are having a good time and the weather has been great until game day." 

However bad weather is relative, especially to those who come here from Iowa. Delane Duval told 10 News, "Right before I pulled in [to the game] I was making arrangement with my snow removal man.. So even though it is chilly for the resident s of Florida, we're not shoveling and we're happy to be here."

And while those who put the event together want the fans to see a good game, Outback Bowl executive director Jim McVay knows it is much more than the game saying "We're thrilled to have the Iowa Hawkeyes and the LSU Tigers." According to McVay, "They brought a lot of people here in terms of economic impact that's what this outback bowl does." 

With the Bucs season going down in flames it is easy to say that this is the biggest game in the Tampa bay area this year. But, this will all be different three years from now when the College Championship game will be hosted in Tampa at Raymond James stadium within days of the Outback Bowl.

Some fans wonder if the year the Championship game is played here in 2017 if it will be a down year for enthusiasm, supports and attendance at the Outback bowl. Dale Rushing who came to this year's Outback Bowl to support LSU admits the Championship game in 2017 could have an effect on the Outback Bowl.

Football Fan, Mike Szemeredy says "It will be competitive. This is a big football town this is a great sports town and we support everything that comes our way.  I'm looking forward to it, but it will be competitive and it will be interesting how it plays out."

Outback Bowl executive director Jim McVay says bring on the BCS, it won't affect the Outback Bowl and it will be good for Tampa.

According to McVay,"The Outback Bowl is here every year we're going to be here forever and ever." McVay adds. "To be able to get one of those games that's a plus for our community." 

In fact McVay predicts the bowl will continue to bring fans to the area like Joe Campbell who came here from Louisiana and says, "Love Tampa Bay. Got to see some good fireworks last night and had lots of fun."

And to top it off Campbell's LSU Tigers came away with an impressive victory 21-14.

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