EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSWVU ROAD TRIP
from Eyewitness News Online
Flying To Cheer On The Mountaineers
Reported by: Kennie Bass
Videographer: Matt Durrett
Web Producer: Kennie Bass
Reported: Oct. 4, 2012 9:49 PM EDT
Updated: Oct. 5, 2012 9:29 AM EDT
Charleston , Kanawha County , West Virginia
Driving to away conference games for West Virginia University is probably a thing of the past. Now that WVU is in the Big 12, flying has become a fan's best option.
“I'm a little nervous. It's a bigger stadium. They hold a hundred thousand. You know, we're not used to that,” Shelli Jasper of Oak Hill said. “But I've learned there are a lot of Mountaineer fans going and that makes me real excited because we have the best fans in the nation.
From most parts of the Mountain State, an Austin road trip in your vehicle to watch West Virginia play Texas would take more than 20 hours. With gasoline prices hovering near $4 a gallon, flying to arrive at your destination much more quickly is an attractive alternative.
Jaime Salvatore of Oak Hill said traveling is definitely worth it. “It's no different for us than any bowl game,” Salvatore said. “I think about how much we've shown up when we've played Georgia, Oklahoma and big teams before. So, for us . . . football is a religion and we don't have a pro team, so this is our pro team. We've got a huge support base, and I think the fans are going to show up. We'll be there.
Yeager Airport's marketing director said there are no hard numbers to calculate how many WVU fans are traveling by air to the Texas game, but Brian Belcher said phone and social media messages point to quite a few of the blue and gold faithful making the journey
“You want to get your ticket as early as possible because it's going to be cheaper then,” Belcher said. “If you wait until the last minute like right now, just as an example, you could have flew to Austin two or three months ago for about 350 roundtrip. Now it's $770.”
Salvatore said change is inevitable, and it's a great way for us “to expand our program and show what we're really about and give us a new opportunity to show who we really are.”
Belcher also suggests you check prices on flights to cities close to where the Mountaineers are playing on the road. That way you can compare and find the best deal. You may have to drive a little farther once you land, but the savings can make up for the inconvenience.
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