College Football Playoff visitors enjoy fan festivities in San Jose

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- Bay Area residents had a chance to check out the College Football Playoff's interactive 200,000 square foot fan experience, Playoff Fan Central, at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center Friday afternoon - all for free.

"Just wanted the children and my wife to experience this atmosphere," said San Jose resident Regulus Teotico. "It's rare that this comes to town and we definitely wanted to take advantage of it."

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ABC's sister network ESPN is broadcasting live at Plaza de Cesar Chavez from an outdoor studio all throughout the weekend.

"We are blessed beyond to have them here," Mountain View resident Michelle Ryan. "It's huge for the Bay Area. It's huge for us here in Silicon Valley."

Back inside the convention center, ESPN talent, as well as San Francisco 49ers players shared some words of wisdom with local high school and college athletes with the goal of preparing them for success beyond the playing field.

"When you have a certain level of success whether it's in sports or TV, you have a responsibility to pass some of the knowledge on for the next generation so that they can not only carry it on, but make it better," said ESPN analyst Marcus Spears.

In addition to hosting a summit for Bay Area teachers this weekend, the College Football Playoff Foundation is raising money for Butte County educators who were impacted by the Camp Fire.

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"It's very special to be here in San Jose and celebrating this for our teachers," said Tim Taylor, Butte County superintendent of schools. "There's a lot of deep issues still going on there. We still have a lot of teachers without housing."

Playoff Fan Central is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday. The College Football Playoff waived the entry fee for Bay Area residents on Friday as a thank you to the community. Tickets are $8 in advance or $10 at the door. Kids 12 and under still get in for free when accompanied by a paying adult.

Former Bachelorette and current College Football Playoff Foundation ambassador Rachel Lindsay is looking forward to welcoming the crowds over the next few days.

"I love Playoff Fan Central. I love the energy, I love looking into faces and seeing the excitement of the children, because this is what you work so hard for," said Lindsay.

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