BOCA RATON, Fla. — Football fans took over FAU Stadium on Saturday for the 2021 Boca Raton Bowl.
This is the eighth year Florida Atlantic University is hosting the bowl game and this year Western Kentucky took on Appalachian State.
Students on campus said their campus is more like a resort than a university with all the palm trees and being located 1.8 miles from the beach.
Events like the bowl game brings great publicity and tourism for the area.
"You're having a huge audience that are going to look at the TV and they're definitely going to catch an eye on Boca Raton as a city, so they might come here and flock here and invest their own time to go see the city that we have next to our stadium," FAU junior Danilo Vuckovich said. "Mizner Park, you have restaurants there, so I think that's going to generate lots of revenue for the people here."
Rob Williams, a Western Kentucky fan visiting from out of state, said he arrived Friday and spent the day "soaking up the sun and a drink and enjoying the weather and all the great people of Boca Raton."
Both teams had their bands and cheerleaders to hype up their fans Friday night during individual pep rallies.
For the Hilltoppers, the team stayed at the Marriott in Palm Beach Gardens and held their pep rally in Riviera Beach.
The Mountaineers stayed at the Marriott Town Center in Boca Raton and held their pep rally at Mizner Park.
Mizner Park is a location with some 36 shops and restaurants that are all thankful for the boost in foot traffic that events like the Boca Raton Bowl can bring.
The day of the game, the tailgate had marching bands, live music, food and drinks. There was even carnival rides like bumper cars and a giant slide.
Fans who spoke with WPTV said this visit was well worth the trip.
“This is the best bowl environment ever we've been to," Appalachian State fan Stockton Ware said. "I really like the live music, the bands, just the whole camaraderie of it all."