Crews in San Jose prepare to open Playoff Fan Central for College Football Playoff National Championship

San Jose, Calif. (KGO) -- Big crowds will descend on the South Bay on Friday afternoon for the start of the College Football Playoff National Championship. ABC7 News was given a sneak peek inside "Playoff Fan Central" at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center as crews put the finishing touches on getting the experience ready for thousands of visitors.

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Playoff Fan Central is a 200,000 square foot interactive family-friendly experience including games, clinics, entertainment, and special guest appearances. Tickets cost $10 per person, but Bay Area residents get in for free on Friday.

"You just get a great vibe of all of the energy of the people, whether they're an Alabama fan or a Clemson fan, or a college football fan, you just feel good being down here, experiencing all the excitement of having a big event in San Jose," said Elon Werner with the College Football Playoff.

The Valley Transportation Authority is anticipating large crowds, especially at Discovery Meadow, where the free outdoor concert series begins Friday night.

Service at the Children's Discovery Museum train stop will be suspended starting Friday morning through the weekend, so officials say visitors need to plan accordingly.

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"Our app, EZ-Fare, is free and it allows you to essentially pay for your fare in advance, and get onboard bus and light rail, so that you don't have to wait in line to purchase your tickets," said Holly Perez, a VTA spokesperson.

Looking ahead to Monday's game at Levi's Stadium, ticket prices for the Alabama-Clemson match-up have fallen to levels not seen in years. However, that doesn't mean there isn't high interest, particularly from out-of-town visitors. Tourism officials say all hotel rooms in the downtown core are sold out.

"San Jose has so much potential as a sports destination," said Frances Wong, Visit San Jose spokesperson. "I'm glad that people will be recognizing what we can offer, and what we can do."

Organizers say they're setting the stage for what will likely be a memorable weekend for many people.

"It's kind of our way of saying thank you to all of the folks from the Bay Area and San Jose that are helping us make this weekend the greatest weekend in all of college football," said Werner.

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Playoff Fan Central will be open from 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Friday, with extended hours throughout the weekend.
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