TAMPA — Fans of Florida A&M University Rattlers and Tennessee State University Tigers have converged on Tampa for the annual FAMU Tampa Football Classic.
These two top-performing teams among historically black colleges and universities will face off at 6 p.m. Saturday (Sept. 16) at Raymond James Stadium.
A FAMU fan fest will be held from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday at Raymond James Stadium.
A traditional highlight is the FAMU Battle of the Bands, in which the quick-stepping musicians dance and dip, high-step and slide. Both the FAMU "Marching 100'' and the TSU "Aristocrat of Bands" will perform.
The game is the culmination of a weekend of festivities, starting today (Sept. 15) with a $75-a-plate luncheon at 11:30 a.m. at the Hilton Tampa Downtown; a "Rattler Roundup'' at the same hotel takes place from 4 to 6 p.m.; and a cruise for alumni on the Yacht Starship leaves the dock at 8:30 p.m.
The Tampa Classic Golf Tournament tees off at 10 a.m. Saturday at Rogers Park, ending at 1 p.m.
Also, starting at 10 a.m. Saturday, FAMU leaders, recruiters, students and alumni will be at Jefferson High School, 4401 W Cypress St., to recruit area high school students. The first 100 high school seniors in attendance will receive a free ticket to the FAMU vs. Tennessee State game. Students can RSVP by calling (850) 599-3147 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
All first responders and their immediate family members will be provided with complimentary tickets to the game.
Fans can purchase tickets at ticketmaster.com or by calling the FAMU box office at (850) 599-3141. First responders can pick up complimentary tickets at the main box office by presenting their official ID (limit four tickets per family).
The two teams have faced off numerous times since 1944, with the Tigers holding a 30-24 edge over the Rattlers.
"Our matchup against Tennessee State will prove to be an exciting contest reminiscent of legendary matchups between coaches Jake Gaither and John Merritt," said FAMU Athletic Director Milton Overton.