SANTA CLARA, Calif.. (KTVU) - An estimated 35,000 college football fans filled Levi's Stadium to watch Utah take on Indiana for the Foster Farms Bowl. It's a first for both teams to play at the 49ers home in Santa Clara.
Some fans made the 12-hour drive from Utah, some drove even farther. However, no one more thrilled to watch the bowl game than the proud families of the players.
As fireworks lit up the night sky, Levi's Stadium shined in prime time. Among the fans the DiManna family who drove 22 hours from Denver.
"Indiana doesn't go to bowl games very often," said DiManna. "We want to support the school, support the Hoosiers and be here for the game."
One contingent of Hoosier fans came from the East Bay. They were family and friends of Jennifer Beadle, a current Indiana University student.
"This is my first time here so I'm excited because I've never been to Levi's Stadium so it should be really fun," said Beadle.
There were fans from Australia decked out in yellow and green, wanting to take in the College Bowl experience. However, the best fans were the families of the players. The Bolles family. drove12 hours from Lehi, Utah. Grove Bolles is originally from Santa Rosa. His son Garrett is Utah's left offensive tackle.
"I'm a proud dad," said Grove Bolles. "It's very cool. I's been a good season for him."
"I'm really excited," said Hunter Bolles of Utah "It's awesome to see my brother make it this far."
Beaming with pride, it's a first for these young players to be in the national spotlight under the bright lights of a professional stadium.
"We usually have a pregame prep talk," said Grove Bolles. "Before every game that he plays and today he's just happy."
Elley Taumoepenu is originally from Tonga and now living in Monterey. It's bittersweet wearing number 50 to support her son 22-year-old Pita. He's Utah's defensive end. It's the last game of the season. She's hopeful he'll play past the collegiate level.