Some Buckeye football fans book trips to Big Easy, others cancel plans altogether

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Speculation turned into confirmation Sunday night for Ohio State football fans when the Bowl Championship Series games were announced. This is the second year in a row the Bucks will have a shot at bringing home a national title. While Sunday’s plans prompted many OSU fans to buy bowl packages, it caused others to request a refund.

Ohio State fans trickled in and out of Conrad’s on Lane Avenue around lunch time buying scarlet and grey gear.

Shannon Reardon from Freeman said it would not have made a difference to her if the Buckeyes were going to the Rose Bowl or to vie for a national title.

“I would’ve followed them to any game. But I’d prefer to see them in the national championship game. I think it says a lot about our team and our coaching staff,” Reardon said.

Reardon said her hotel room is booked. She does not have tickets yet, but she’s trying to get them before she and her friends make the drive down to New Orleans.

Unlike Reardon, many Ohio State fans wanted to see the Buckeyes play at the Rose Bowl so they went ahead and put down deposits on a package to Pasadena, California. But after Sunday night’s announcement that OSU will take on the Louisiana State University Tigers in New Orleans, many of them wanted their money back. Rob Elking is president of Grandview Travel. Elking said about 70 percent of people who put money down for a Rose Bowl package did not want to swap for a trip to the Big Easy. He said that’s because those fans really wanted to see the Bucks go to the Rose Bowl.

“People that did the deposits in advance for the Rose Bowl, they wanted to go to the Rose Bowl. Because maybe they didn’t go in 1997, and it is a granddaddy bowl, and so they really did not want to transfer their money over to New Orleans. It’s because they really wanted to go to the Rose Bowl period, and that was it,” Elking said.

But many other really wanted to go to New Orleans. Elking said the folks who did not reserve Rose Bowl tickets are keeping the phone lines hot.

“There’s a lot of people now that are calling that are booking national championship game packages that did not call in early November because we were all thinking Rose Bowl bound after the Michigan win,” Elking said.

Back at Conrad’s Ohio State sophomore Adam Stewart looks through some sweatshirts. He said he and his roommates plan to make the 13 or so hour drive to the Big Easy to see their beloved Bucks take on the LSU Tigers. Stewart hopes to get his tickets through the student raffle. If not he said he’ll look for a travel agent. When asked if he’d rather seen OSU go to the Rose Bowl he said

“I’m sure Pasadena might be a little nicer but you never turn down a chance to go to a national championship. So I’m sticking with the national championship over anything,” Stewart said.

And that was pretty much the consensus at Conrad’s – at least this day.

Bryon Moore from Hilliard won’t be going to the game this year. He said he has to work. While Moore said he’s excited about the possibility of a national title, he said he has other reasons why he’s glad OSU is not going to the Rose Bowl.

“I’m glad to see they’re getting a chance at a national championship, and going to the Rose Bowl would have been cool, but they’d be playing USC, who they’re playing the next two years so that would have kind of stolen the thunder over the next two years I think. So it kind of works out as far as keeping things fresh I think,” Moore said.

Elking said the cost for a deluxe airfare package is nearly $2,900 per person. And he expects that price to increase as LSU fans start to buy tickets. The BCS championship game is January 7th.

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