BOWL BLUES: Iowa Fans Face High Costs

It’s only been five years since the Iowa Hawkeyes last traveled to the Outback Bowl in Tampa. But there are signs that say the way their fans travel could be changing.

Since the season finished with unprecedented fanfare you`d expect fans to be all over the fares.

Nobody`s giving away plane tickets, that`s for sure with airfares set between $800-1,100.

Rick South`s travel agency has been checking and booking all day, “Hotel is probably going to be $150 to $300 a night depending on what you want to do.”

December 8th is one of the latest dates ever for bowl bids to be handed out, and it`s hurt fans chances of booking cheap flights.

Brian Filloon paid $478 for a flight out of Minneapolis. But his flight is now full. Like many Iowa fans, this won`t be his first trip to Tampa.

“We had a good time the last time we were there so, we decided to do it again,” Filloon says.

In past years, fan and alumni groups have built trip packages and chartered private jets to bowl games.  But this year, none of those will leave from Des Moines.

“The last couple tours that we did to the Insight Bowl, we just didn`t have enough interest out of Des Moines to fill those planes,” Iowa Alumni Association president Vince Nelson says.

Iowa fans have a reputation as great travelers.  Does this mean that reputation might be outdated?

“I think it`s a changing time as it relates to bowl travel. I think more and more people are deciding and figuring it out on their own.”

They certainly know their way to Florida, and the hunger for a bowl trip should be restored.

“Since we didn`t get to go anywhere last year, I think everybody`s just anxious to go and get out of this weather for a while and go see the Hawks,” Nelson adds.

Charter trips to the Outback Bowl are available from Cedar Rapids starting at $1,900 per person.

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