UPDATE WEDNESDAY: Full air and hotel packages out of Cedar Rapids are sold out. There are a few remaining out of Des Moines. Game ticket and tailgate packages are still available, and the ticket prices are in line with or better than StubHub.
In case you've been living under a rock, the 12-1 Big Ten West Division Champion Iowa Hawkeyes are headed to the Rose Bowl to play Stanford. That's the Rose Bowl. The Grandaddy of them All. The biggest, oldest, most important bowl game on the planet.
It's Iowa's first trip to the Rose Bowl in 25 years. The last time Iowa hadn't been to the Rose Bowl in 25 years, it was because Iowa had never been to the Rose Bowl. Even with Saturday's Big Ten Championship Game loss, this game is the crowning achievement of Kirk Ferentz's tenure at Iowa.
And if their attendance in Indianapolis is any sign, this is going to be one of the most-attended Rose Bowl games in recent memory. Officials are expecting at least 50,000 Iowa fans to make the trip, with that number reaching as high as 60,000. That's before we even consider Stanford fans, which might not be as motivated (they've been there three times in the last half-decade), but could make up for it by actually being from California.
We know some of you are going, and we know some of you are at least thinking about going, and we want to make sure our readers can get to the game for a reasonable price. Of course, longtime readers know that we've never done that before (we wouldn't be doing this if Iowa was going to Tampa again), and so we've discussed how to do this with the guys at Hawkeye Nation, who have done this for years. And they sent up to Prime Sport, who have worked with them in the past, have provided travel and accommodations to the Rose Bowl for more than 20 years, and are the Official Rose Bowl partner for Tickets and Hospitality. It's the first time that anyone who has been the Official anything of anything has wanted to work with us. Because it's the Rose Bowl.
Here's what you get by booking through BHGP and Prime Sports, beyond the usual transportation/hotel stuff: Your game ticket purchase is secured. Your trips to and from the airport in Los Angeles (Des Moines or Cedar Rapids are available) is provided. You also have a ride to the Hawkeye Huddle and, oh yeah, the Rose Bowl. You'll get to be part of a fully-stocked tailgate party at Rose Bowl Village, a magical five-acre land with food, open bar, former players, and pregame events. Famous people will be there, and I don't mean internet famous.
Anyone who tried to find a ticket to the game in Indianapolis knows what is going to happen in the next few weeks. Fifty thousand Iowa fans are about to hit Stubhub, and prices could skyrocket. I can tell you from experience that Iowa fans just turned $70 face value nosebleed seats into tickets that were going for six times that price at a game that almost never sells out. (EDIT MONDAY: Ticket prices are already through the roof.) We take care of the tickets for you. And if you're Nostradamus or tried to jinx us and already bought seats but don't want to deal with the logistics of a California vacation, you can also buy a ticketless trip package.
These guys come well-recommended, They've helped HN for years. We wouldn't be offering this if we didn't trust them. So if you'd like to spend this Rose Bowl with like-minded Iowa fans, here's your chance.
If you want to review the available options, go to the BHGP Prime Sports site. As of Sunday night, their guys have told us that demand is beyond anything they've seen, and they've been there for Wisconsin's trip to Pasadena in 1994. If you have any questions, all of their contact information is available on the site.
You're not going to want to miss this. Let us help you make it as easy as possible to do it.