FSU, Auburn teams arrive, will practice locally

The BCS National Championship game has returned to the Rose Bowl, and just like in 2010, the No. 1 team has become prominent in Costa Mesa.

Florida State’s football team, which includes Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston, arrived in Costa Mesa on Tuesday.

The Seminoles begin practicing at the Jack Hammett Sports Complex on Wednesday in preparation for Monday’s championship game against Auburn, said Bob Knapp, the city’s recreation manager.

The Auburn Tigers are training at UC Irvine.

The practices are closed to the public.

If there is rain during the week, FSU will move their practices to Orange Coast College and use its artificial turf. Auburn has Sage Hill School as a backup.

“The city is very excited to have a team and an event of this stature in this city,” Knapp said. “Tom Hatch [the Costa Mesa CEO] and the city’s staff have been very supportive of bringing this to our community. There will be a lot of hotel rooms booked, and it will give local businesses a boost. To host the No. 1 team in the community and to have the Heisman winner in your town, it’s a great honor.”

Knapp estimated FSU paid $18,000 to use the field that’s next to Costa Mesa High School during the days leading up to the big game.

He said there has been “a very good working relationship” between the city and the Tournament of Roses staff, which has organized the preparations.

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