The BCS Championships pits the Alabama Crimson Tide against Notre Dame's Fighting Irish this Monday, January 7, at Sun Life Stadium. That means that tens of thousands of fans will fly in to Miami in the hopes of scoring a ticket (which are going for around $800 on some reseller's sites), only to hunker down in one of our many sports bars or hang out at the stadium's fan zone.
We're lucky -- we don't have to fly in to watch the game at a sports bar -- we're already here. And there's a lot of game-related activity to take in this week (including some Notre Dame-supplied prayer meets). Whether your rooting for Alabama or Notre Dame, there's a place for you to party before, during, and after the game.
Saturday, January 5 - Sunday, January 6
From noon to 8 p.m., the Discover Championship Fan Experience takes over Ocean Drive between Sixth and Ninth Streets. Live music, interactive games, contests, and a zip line over Miami Beach! Bars and restaurants along Ocean Drive will sell food and beer, for your eating and drinking enjoyment. Free and open to the public.
Saturday, January 5
At 7 p.m., Notre Dame holds a pre-game pep rally on Ocean Drive between Sixth and Ninth Streets. Watch the Notre Dame Marching Band, cheerleaders comedian Martin Short, and a leprechaun (seriously). For hard-core fans, former Notre Dame head football coach Lou Holt and former players Joe Theismann, Tony Rice, Pat Terrell and Mike Golic Sr. will make appearances, too. Free and open to the public.
Sunday, January 6
How do you ensure your team wins? Take it directly to the man upstairs. Notre Dame is hosting Sunday mass at the grand ballroom of the Intercontinental Miami Hotel at 10 a.m., because you can't take too many precautions with the BCS title. The mass will be presided over by Notre Dame's president, the Rev. John I. Jenkins. Free and open to the public.
Official Notre Dame Alumni Association Celebration at the Fillmore Miami Beach at the Jackie Gleason Theater from 8 to 11 p.m. $100 gets you food, beer, wine, and soft drinks, plus an exclusive showing of the 2012 Notre Dame Football highlight video. 21 and over only. Purchase tickets here.
Monday, January 7
From noon to 4 p.m., Bayfront Park hosts a Notre Dame fan party. Kick off the day's mayhem with a tailgate buffet, beer, wine, and soft drinks. Entertainment includes the world-renowned Irish band Gaelic Storm, the Notre Dame Marching Band, cheerleaders, the Notre Dame Leprechaun, and celebrity guest speakers. Over 10,000 fans are expected at this party. $75 per person (children under 12 are admitted free). Purchase tickets in advance at the Notre Dame Welcome Tent on Ocean Drive between Sixth and Seventh Streets in Miami Beach on Saturday or Sunday or at the gate on Monday.
Monty's Sunset on Miami Beach is hosting the official game watch party for the Notre Dame Club of Miami. The bar will open at 9 a.m., with buses heading to the stadium at 1 p.m.
Finnegan's on the River will host Notre Dame fans from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. A donation , which benefits ND Club of Miami, will be requested at the door.
The Clevelander hosts both Alabama and Notre Dame fans (we're assuming in separate sections) with drink specials, food, and plenty of action.
Shula's Steak 2 Inside the Don Shula Hotel in Miami Lakes will host an official Alabama watch party.
El Palacio Hotel Sports Bar is the closest Alabama watch party to the stadium, which is perfect if you like extreme traffic jams or if some people in your party scored tickets and some didn't. Parking for both the watch party (and the game) is $15.
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Calder Casino & Race Course is hosting a big game day party at several bars and restaurants in the complex. The Twin Spires Tavern will be open from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. with 15 flat screen TVs and three big projection screens showing pre- and post-game coverage, as well as the game itself. The Tropical Gardens buffet will offer a pre-game meal for $10.99 per person from 4 to 5 p.m., with a dinner buffet from 5 to 9 p.m. for $15.99 per person. In addition, parking for the game is available at $40 per car. Minimum age to enter the Calder Casino is 21.