Penn State football fans moving swiftly to arrange travel to Fiesta Bowl
UNIVERSITY PARK -- Penn State students and fans are sharing their excitement after the long-awaited announcement of the Nittany Lions' bowl destination Sunday.
"I'm super excited and I'm so grateful that they have another chance to play," Medina Safic said.
"I think it’s pretty exciting, you know, although we didn’t make the playoffs and we had two losses this year,” Alex Howard said. “It’s still a pretty big deal to make it to, like, the New Year’s Six bowl game."
"I'm very excited for them. It would've been nice to see them play against USC and get that rematch and the victory but we can always settle for another bowl game," PSU student Brandon Green said.
Penn State will be heading out west to the Fiesta Bowl, a game they've always come out on top in. They are 6-0 in Fiesta Bowl appearances.
This year, the Nittany Lions, ranked No.9 nationally, will take on No.11 Washington.
Fans in State College are already moving swiftly to book their trips to Arizona after the big Fiesta Bowl announcement Sunday, leaving companies like Centre for Travel busy and booked for the weeks ahead.
There has been the constant sound of ringing phones throughout Centre for Travel's office on 1600 University Drive
since Penn State's bowl game destination was announced.
“This is Joanne from Centre for Travel returning your call about the Fiesta Bowl. How may I help you?” one of the travel agency's employees said.
Since the 1970s, the company has offered travel packages for Penn State bowl games but the owner says this is the busiest they've ever been.
"It has been very busy, and actually much busier than we did last year with the Rose Bowl," Kay Rogers, owner and manager of Centre for Travel, said.
Sunday morning bowl projections publicized the Nittany Lions will face Washington in the Fiesta Bowl Dec. 30. Since the report fans have moved quickly to book their trips.
"This is a very special bowl,” Rogers said. “We haven’t been to the Fiesta Bowl in many years."
Penn State returns to the Fiesta Bowl for the first time since 1997. It will face a team, it hasn't seen in over 30 years.
The excitement is building up in Happy Valley but it's not easy for everyone to make it to the game.
"It's pretty far and costly," PSU fan Riley Glancy said.
Several football fans and students say the cost and distance is what cuts their chances of going.
According to Kayak.com, the cheapest flight to fly to Arizona that weekend starts at $825.
"It is probably more money than I have,” PSU student Natalie Schwer said. “Especially around the holidays and it is just a little too far for me to make that trip."
Another fan says he’d be willing to pay the price but only for a better matchup.
"I decided not to go because I just wasn’t as excited to be matched up against Washington,” PSU fan Jacob Steidinger said. “I was looking for a different bowl game or a different matchup, which we sadly didn’t get."
Many students and fans say the price and distance is the biggest factor stopping them for attending. Meanwhile other fans have about three weeks left to plan before the big game.