Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Oklahoma Football Fans Hit the Road

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Oklahoma Football Fans Hit the Road

Article excerpt

As usual, the 200-mile or so drive to the Cotton Bowl will be the most popular pilgrimage for state college football fans, and this year, there might be some cost savings simply because of the shorter distances of many of the games.

As it turns out, there aren't that many trips that require a travel agent or flight plans for the legions of University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University football fans. University of Tulsa fans will have to work harder due to their teams playing in the well-spread-out Conference USA.

"We haven't taken care of many fans for road games; we mainly just book bowl games," said Michelle Ward of Break-Away Travel in south Oklahoma City. "They usually drive to road games. With last weekend's OU game at Washington, we didn't get any calls for people going out there. If they did go, they'd probably made reservations quite a while ago, or should have."

Gas and lodging are probably the biggest expenses for traveling OU and OSU fans.

Ward said the true college football business begins about Dec. 1, when bowl game matchups are chosen.

"As soon they announce where the teams are going, we start getting prices from the companies that do the bowl packages," Ward said. "People start knowing what it's going to cost and start making plans then. They still wait to book anything unless it's a definite."

OU Sports Information Director Kenny Mossman said the Sooner crowd is the well-traveling sort.

"We have a real good reputation for traveling," said Mossman, who has been at his job for eight years. "It just depends where the game is and who OU is playing. We sold about 6,500 tickets to the Washington game. That won't necessarily account for the total amount of Oklahoma fans who will be at the game because the game was not sold out by Washington. Fans, particularly those who live on the West Coast, would've had the option of purchasing tickets directly from the host school, so it's hard for us to determine how many we had."

Mossman said one of the better examples of OU's traveling fans came at the 2003 Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif. About 30,000 Sooner supporters were on hand. …

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