It felt like game day in January on Saturday as approximately 78,000 Auburn fans poured into Jordan-Hare Stadium for the National Championship celebration. The celebration took place at 1 p.m. and lasted for an hour.
The city of Auburn was crowded as if it were a normal game day during football season. Auburn fans, decked in their orange and blue attire, waited in lines to enter the stadium nearly two hours before the event. Some even chose to tailgate before and after. Admission was free to the public. Students that presented their ignited card were able to stand on the field during the event.
“I couldn’t believe I was able to stand on the field,” said senior Jessica Scott. “It made winning the championship even more special than it already was.”
Scott, a born and bred Auburn fan, arrived at the stadium at 11 a.m. to stand in line for the event. She claims that she cried a total of three times because of the speeches and her love for Auburn.
“This has been a great way to end my senior year,” said Scott. “We couldn’t have had a more perfect football season.”
During the celebration, each member of the football team was announced individually as they ran out of the tunnel.Members of the team sat on a stage on the field, with thousands of fans surrounding them. The cheerleaders, Tiger Paws, Aubie and the Auburn University Marching Band were also present.
Trophies and awards were given to players and coaches. Cam Newton, Nick Fairley, Dr. David Housel, coach Gene Chizik and Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley were among those who spoke to the crowd.
Newton struck the Heisman pose on stage before accepting his trophy. He recognized the fact that it was the last time he would be standing on the field as an Auburn football player, and thanked his family and the Auburn fans for sticking with him through the trials he has faced throughout the year.
Following the celebration, a limited number of BCS National Championship posters were handed out to fans. A reverse Tiger Walk leading to the Athletic Complex was held. Fans were then led downtown to celebrate the victory by rolling the trees at Toomer’s Corner.
National Championship merchandise and souvenirs were sold outside of the stadium and at bookstores in Auburn. Fans not able to attend the celebration were able to watch it online at www.auburntigers.com.