NEW ORLEANS – The city is packed with orange and red, especially outside the Superdome, where fans are getting ready for the Clemson and Alabama showdown in the 2018 Sugar Bowl.

Fans say it's more than a game, it's a way of life.

New Year's Eve is all about celebration, but in New Orleans on New Year's Day, it is all about football.

Fans packed into Tracey's in the Irish Channel to get the competition started early. Tyler Dietz made the trip to New Orleans to see the big game.

“It shouldn't take a whole lot to get amped up and ready for tonight's game,” Dietz said.

For him, Clemson represents something bigger than football.

"I grew up watching this team with my grandma and grandpa on Saturdays. The atmosphere up there and the family feel you get from the team, it runs through the fan base,” Dietz said.

Charles Nielson's allegiances might lie on the other side.

"I think we're gonna bring it back to Alabama,” Nielson said.

But like Dietz, his college football obsession runs deep.

"It means tradition, packed full. One of the strongest college teams ever put together so it means a lot,” Dietz said.

As fans waited for their teams to square off, the home team got in on the action early.

"It's home. It's what you grew up watching as a child and it's definitely the embodiment of Louisiana,” one LSU fan said.

Whether you bleed crimson, orange or purple and gold, fans all agree that football is king on New Year's Day.

The Sugar Bowl airs on ESPN at 7:45 p.m.