June 10, 2014
The Cavalier baseball team has its tickets punched for Omaha as the Hoos prepare to take on Ole Miss in the first round of the College World Series.
The team wants some fan support, but it comes at a cost.
Globe Travel consultant Stephen McIninch, a Cavalier fan and season-ticket holder himself, says he'll enjoy the College World Series from home this year, but he has tips for fans who want to go.
"You would want to make your decision now," he said. "Am I going to go, or am I going to watch on TV?"
Flying is the most popular option. On Tuesday morning, one-way tickets were available from the Charlottesville-Albemarle Airport to Omaha's Eppley Airfield, with connections, for less than $300. But those prices are expected to rise as time goes on.
"If you're open to not just flying from Charlottesville, if you can go to Richmond or if you can fly out of the Washington area, you can find some good deals," McIninch said.
One issue many travelers would face with this trip is the return ticket, given the setup of the games. Fans don't know when the team will end its run or how far it can go.
"Sometimes, the airlines are not nice to you in booking one way. They want you to book the round trip," McIninch said. "But in this case, since it's double elimination, we don't know when we're going to be leaving. We could be going all the way to the end, which is what we want."
Driving to Omaha is an option more in the traveler's control. For the average sedan that gets 18 miles to the gallon of gas, the one-way trip would take about 52 gallons at a cost of $225 and 20 hours on the interstates. The distance between Charlottesville and Omaha is about 1,200 miles.
Another more restrictive option is train travel, "if you're wanting to take about two-and-a-half days to get there," McIninch said.
Tickets on Tuesday for Amtrak rides out of Charlottesville started at $350, but it's a long journey. The first train is to Washington, DC's Union Station. After a transfer there, riders head west to Chicago's Union Station, before making another transfer to get into Omaha.
"It's based on your wallet and it's based on the type of experience you want to have," McIninch said.
The average hotel cost in Omaha is $100 to $200 a night. The closer guests are to the ballpark, the more expensive the hotels may be.
Tickets for the College World Series go on sale to the general public on Wednesday morning, many starting around $35. There are also about 5,500 general admission tickets available for purchase at a number of businesses in and around Omaha.