Fans pack bars, restaurants ahead of championship game

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If you couldn’t be in Indianapolis for the National Championship on Monday, the next-best place was in Tuscaloosa.

Fans started the festivities early, lining up outside bars on the Strip just off the University of Alabama campus as early as 10 a.m. Kickoff was after 7 p.m.

Brooke Bridges was the first person in line at Rounders Bar Monday morning.

“Last year the lines were crazy,” Bridges said. “We were waiting in line for like two hours last year and we were not even the first in line, so we wanted to go ahead and get up early and make sure we had a spot in line.”

Hundreds of fans lined the sidewalks before bars opened their doors at noon. Not all the patrons were students.

“We’re gonna’ party and watch Bama win,” Michael Marwood said. “Beat Georgia.”

Marwood flew in all the way from Germantown, Wisconsin, to be with his freshman daughter for her first National Championship game.

“It’s a once in a lifetime experience,” said Delaney Marwood. “I needed him here with me.”

Business managers like Zack Petty were excited to welcome these fans into their establishments.

“We are probably going to be pretty busy today,” Petty said. “I like to think we are going to be busy from start to finish. I am looking for a good crowd. Hopefully, Bama can pull that win out and everybody can come out and celebrate.”

Tuscaloosa Police strengthened their presence in the area as well, to ensure that no matter the outcome patrons stayed safe and made safe decisions.

“Last year the Strip got flooded as soon as the game was over when we won the national championship,” said Tuscaloosa Police Chief Brent Blankley. “We hope this year everybody uses a little more common sense.”

But in the wake of the game, there was no mass celebration after Georgia bested the Crimson Tide 33 to 18. Instead, fans who packed the bars trickled out with little fanfare.

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