Gopher fans hit the beach ahead of Outback Bowl

The marching band for the Gophers performed at the pre-Outback Bowl Beach Party.

Gopher fans are already descending upon Tampa, Florida for the Outback Bowl on New Year’s Day.

Ahead of the big day, the Minnesota band marched in the redecorating team.

“We painted that beach maroon and gold,” said Lisa Lewis the University of Minnesota Alumni Association President. “There were Gopher fans everywhere.”

Lewis was among the Gopher faithful that attended a pre-Outback Bowl beach party.
“There is a dolphin, a plastic or ceramic dolphin that was in a Maroon and Gold jersey that you could take photos with,” she said. “And then there was a sand sculpture with the Outback Bowl logo and the big 'M,' and Goldy Gopher actually looks good as a sand sculpture, I can tell you that.”  

Fans who made the trek had no problem trading white snow for white sand. 

“We’ve got so many alumni that live here in Florida and we’ve got so many from across the country that have flown in, not just from Minnesota, but from Texas and other places as well,” said Lewis. “So, the culmination of all of us descending in and building community and pride and spirit, it is heartwarming and it makes us proud of our university.”  

Fans are gearing up for an alumni party Tuesday night right before the parade rolls through Tampa.