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Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl Day in Tampa Bay: Fan fest starts at 10 a.m.

1:38 PM, Dec 23, 2013   |    comments
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St. Petersburg, Florida -- The Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl kicks off Monday afternoon in St. Pete and it's bringing football fans from around the country along with it.

It's bowl day in the Bay area.

The fan tailgate extravaganza for both out-of-town fans and locals from Tampa Bay opens at 10 a.m. Monday outside Tropicana Field. That leads up to kickoff at 2 o'clock.

It's still a bit weird and cool to see a football gridiron wedged onto the baseball turf at the Trop. This is the sixth year for the game that started out simply called the "St. Petersburg Bowl."

The Ohio University Bobcats are taking on the Pirates of East Carolina University in the 2013 edition.

ESPN will air the game -- the sports network actually owns the game and puts it on.

People all over our cold country will be seeing Tampa Bay's warm weather and hopefully booking some vacations.

After the 2011 bowl game, Visit St. Pete-Clearwater said the economic impact on our area was just under $2 million.

There are plenty of critics of those numbers -- not just for this event, but for all big sporting events like this.

But there's no arguing that there will be several hundred hotel rooms booked because of this game, plus thousands of local folks get to go to a fun football game.

And ESPN will certainly spend the entire broadcast at 2 p.m. Monday talking about how warm and sunny it is in St. Petersburg and how miserable it is just about everywhere else the country.

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