CHAMPIONSHIP WEEKEND: FREE CHAMPIONSHIP STUFF

Who doesn’t like free? Can we see a show of hands?

Thought so. No hands up. Not one. Surveys over the years have concluded that everyone likes free. 

Fortunately for the Bay Area, the College Football Playoff National Championship is here to service that sentiment in early January.

Considering that it is one of America’s largest sports attractions, CFP National Championship weekend offers a remarkable number of no-cost (and, in a few cases, low-cost) events that allow people who may not have tickets to the game to absorb the vibe of college football’s greatest weekend. Here are some examples:

  • There will be free access to Plaza de Cesar Chavez in downtown San Jose, which will become “The Quad,” centerpiece of the Championship Campus that will occupy surrounding streets. For three days and nights at “The Quad,” live DJs will spin tunes and ESPN will showcase some of its programming, while visitors play interactive games and shop at an officially-licensed merchandise store.
  • Media Day at SAP Center on Saturday is open to the public with no admission charge. Fans who attend will get an up-close-and-personal look at players and coaches of the two participating teams and be able to listen in on interviews.
  • The Playoff Fan Central experience at San Jose McEnery Convention Center from Friday through Sunday, with special programming that includes autograph signings and clinics and family attractions, will have free admission on Friday to local residents and is free all weekend to anyone with a game ticket. Fans who attend Media Day on Saturday will also receive a free Playoff Fan Central ticket as they depart the arena.
  • Three nights of concerts at Discovery Meadow Park in downtown San Jose will be free, with sets by Alessia Cara and Brynn Elliott (Friday), Logic and Leon Bridges (Saturday) and OneRepublic and Ellie Golding (Sunday). Gates will open at 6 p.m. every day for the shows.
  • Likewise, a concert on Monday night at Treasure Island by Imagine Dragons will be open without charge to anyone who makes a trek to the middle of the Bay. It will be part of the ESPN broadcast during halftime sometime between 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. and will also be streamed live.
  •  The Extra Yard for Teachers Summit, with seminars and presentations for local visiting educators, is scheduled on Saturday and Sunday at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center and will be free to any teacher or administrator with a valid current school ID. Families of teachers are also welcome. The Summit programming takes place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day.