Fiesta Bowl fans pack stadium for Ohio State vs. Notre Dame game

- The game may be over, but one of the many Fiesta Bowl events happening this weekend is the big parade! Final preparations were being made on the floats.

Thousands will line the streets of central Phoenix on Saturday morning as the parade begins at 11:00 a.m.

Randy Johnson is the Grand Marshall and the theme this year is "Arizona's Got Game."

But on Friday morning, all eyes were on University of Phoenix Stadium. Ohio State and Notre Dame universities' fans descended on Glendale for the game.

With an 11:00 a.m. kickoff, fans got an early start. Instead of hot dogs, some served up breakfast.

Ohio State vs. Notre Dame: two teams with loyal fans.

"I used to live in Ohio, so I am a big Buckeye fan," said a tailgater who was part of a big group of mostly current and former servicemembers that never miss a Fiesta Bowl.

"These guys do this every year and it is crazy. They go all out and it gets bigger and bigger every year now," said a tailgater.

Unfortunately, some fans missed out on the tailgating because of the traffic. To get here was a nightmare. The freeway off-ramps were backed up. We saw some people getting out of their cars on the side of the freeway.

But come game time, fans packed the stadium, including this long-time Fighting Irish fan who has never watched a game in person until now, thanks to a surprise gift from his son.

"We didn't exchange Christmas presents 'til last night and I had my son carry out his Fiesta Bowl tickets and he looked at those shocked," said Aaron Curns.

"I looked at it again and realized what it was and it blew me off the couch almost," said Butch Curns.  "You get a whole lot better picture of what the game entails... it is just really cool to be here."

During the game, the bars and restaurants prepared for after parties. They opened at 7:00 a.m.

"It is the best time of the year. It is a lot of no sleep nights, but that is the time of year. We make good money. The bars around here live and die for these moments," said Scott McIntire of McFadden's Glendale.

With the Fiesta Bowl and the BCS Championship in Glendale, the new year is off to a good start.

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