For the second year in a row, both the Oregon State University Beavers and University of Oregon Ducks football teams are headed to bowl games. But fans heading south for the games in Las Vegas and San Diego, respectively, could be forced to shell out big bucks if they haven’t already made travel arrangements.
Both teams ended their season 9-3, well-above the .500 mark qualifying teams for bowl eligibility. Their regular seasons culminated in a rivalry matchup where the Beavers overcame a 17-point deficit in the fourth quarter to beat the No. 10 Ducks, spoiling a trip to the Pac-12 championship and potentially the College Football Playoff.
Neither of these two teams “travel” well—meaning big games at neutral sites, such as bowl games or season-kickoff matchups, are not well attended by either fan bases. But with both teams headed to bowl games within a short flight or single connection of Portland International Airport, this could be a year in which college football fans see plenty of green/yellow and orange/black when both teams take the field on national television.
The Beavers led by coach Jonathan Smith will clash with the University of Florida Gators in the Las Vegas Bowl played at Allegiant Stadium, the home of the Las Vegas Raiders. Kickoff is scheduled for 11:15 a.m. PST on Saturday, December 17.
Ironically, Allegiant Air does operate flights out of PDX, but not to Las Vegas.
Beaver hopefuls who weren’t daring enough to purchase flights when the Las Vegas Bowl seemed only like an educated guess before the selection was made official Sunday might be dismayed to find prices have increased significantly.
Duck fans are likely still feeling the sting of what felt like a special season turning sour. Despite the 9-3 result under Dan Lanning in his first season as head coach, losses to both the Beavers and the University of Washington Huskies aren’t easy to stomach.
However, a win over the 9-4 University of North Carolina Tar Heels could put a triumphant cap on a “what could have been” season as the Ducks head to San Diego for the Holiday Bowl. That game will be played at 5 p.m. PST on Wednesday, December 28, at Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres.
Flights to San Diego are also fluctuating in price, but not as dramatically as Las Vegas, rising only about 31 percent in the last two days.
If you haven’t already purchased plane tickets and you’re considering watching your favorite college football team in person this bowl season, consider waiting and keeping your eye on flights over the next several days. According to Expedia’s price insights tool, costs for flights to Las Vegas are expected to dip around December 7, with prices for San Diego flights expected to bottom out near December 23, although booking travel plans might not be able to wait that long.
For Duck fans, San Diego’s laid-back vibe will welcome you with open arms and offer many family-friendly activities to pad your stay.