BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Sugar Bowl fans from both Alabama and Ohio State enjoyed some "pre-game" fun here on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Hundreds of them took advantage of attractive package deals at coast casino resorts. They celebrated New Year's Eve here, then boarded buses for New Orleans.
It was a somewhat early wake-up call on New Year's Day for these Sugar Bowl fans. Around eight thirty Thursday morning, they began boarding tour buses at Beau Rivage.
"We might want to go see a ball game somewhere over in Louisiana," said a smiling Jim Shock, from nearby Mobile, Alabama.
Not just any ball game, mind you. We're talking college football playoffs: Alabama vs. Ohio State.
"Alabama! Alabama all the way!" said Dennis from Oxford, Alabama, "I'm positive, I'm positive. Roll tide!"
Many of these fans spent a few nights here on the coast before the big game.
"Oh, it's great man! We just need to take home a win!" Dennis said.
Coast casino resorts already scored a win; attracting plenty of fans to stay in Mississippi and let the buses drive them to and from New Orleans.
"We've had a great time down here for the last three days. And gonna ride the bus over today and have a great victory today," said Alabama fan, Lynn Long.
"My first ever Alabama game," admitted Rosie Shock. "That's right. Got to have those colors on," she said, pointing out her Roll Tide attire.
It's not just Alabama fans who stayed on the coast and made the trip to New Orleans for the big game. There were also plenty of buckeye fans.
"Headed to the game. This is going to be a great day. First playoff game. This is going to be great," said Jeff Gerard, from Biloxi.
"It's been a great season. Started kind of low and it's gone up ever since," said Steve Brobst, from Columbus, Ohio.
"Huge buck fans. We're season ticket holders for home games," said Chad from Marion, Ohio, "This is our first bowl game, so wishing the bucks great success today."
"We're really excited. We just found out we were going two days ago, so we drove down yesterday, 15 hours and we're excited to be there. Absolutely, go buckeyes!" said Andrew Brobst.
Fans of both teams seemed to be getting along fine so far. Let's hope the post-game bus ride back will be just as friendly.