Thousands Tailgate At BCS Championship

FT. LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – Fans of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the University of Alabama Crimson Tide spent hours in the parking lot of Sun Life Stadium leading up to the big BCS Championship Game.

Some fans arrived as early as 6:30 a.m. Monday.

“We wanted to come early, get some prime real estate,” said Alabama fan Paul Volpe.

“I expect an awesome game. It’s just a lifetime chance for an awesome sporting event,” said Notre Dame fan Joe Kelly Jr.

Joe Kelly Jr. is one of the 20,000 fans expected to show up without a ticket to the game. For those without tickets, it’s all about camping out and tailgating outside of the stadium as they take in all the energy and excitement.

They certainly came prepared with tables, chairs, TVs, balloons, drinks and plenty of food.

As fans fired up the grills, they also fired up a little trash talk.

“We got the coach everybody wants,” said Alabama fan Dennis Thigpen. “That’s the bottom line. We come to play football.”

Fighting Irish fans disagree.

“I think we are going to win by 10,” said Joe Kelly Jr.

Miami-Dade Police Lt. Jeff Schmidinger and a bomb sniffing dog begin a sweep of Sun Life Stadium ahead of the BCS Championship on Jan. 7, 2013 (Source: CBS4)

Miami-Dade Police Lt. Jeff Schmidinger and a bomb sniffing dog begin a sweep of Sun Life Stadium ahead of the BCS Championship on Jan. 7, 2013 (Source: CBS4)

Meanwhile, inside the stadium, Miami-Dade police K9 officers have been conducting security sweeps of the stadium, locker rooms and referee lounges checking for explosives.

“If they find an explosive device, what they’ll do is what we call a passive alert, they’ll sit down and we have bomb technicians on site to check out anything that they may alert to,” explained Miami-Dade Police Lt. Jeff Schmidinger.

The game kicks off at 8:30 p.m.

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