Champ Sports Bowl: Wisconsin vs. Florida St.
The Champs Sports Bowl is the eighth bowl game I have attended. The other seven bowl games include: three Rose Bowls, the Citrus Bowl, the Outback Bowl, the Alamo Bowl and the Emerald Bowl. Northwestern, my alma mater, played in three of those bowl games. The other bowl games were either conveniently located to where I worked or where family lived.
Last night’s Champs Sports Bowl was no exception. As I have already stated, we are visiting Nicole’s family for the holidays in the Villages, FL. Although the Villages are not located near any major city, the town is located within a 1 to 3 hour drive from many major sporting events in central and north Florida. The cities include Jacksonville, Gainesville, Daytona Beach, Orlando, Tampa and St. Petersburg. This does not include the multiple spring training sites also within that radius.
I left the house around 2:45 pm and arrived at the Florida Citrus bowl shortly after 4 pm. As I was looking for a parking lot that had spots, I noticed fans with their fingers in the air. Since I just wrote about why fans generally hold fingers in the air, I became a little nervous about the prospects of buying a ticket. I thought that perhaps Florida St. fans ended up driving from Tallahassee for the game and sold the stadium out.
I parked for free on some shady lawn where other fans were parking and walked quickly to the Florida Citrus Bowl. On the way, I could see that the stadium was definitely not sold out. The upper deck was almost empty. I talked with a few fans on the way and they were all looking for tickets under face value or free – not a normal occurrence in my experience for so many fans looking to buy tickets through the secondary market.
As I got to the box office a few scalpers had extra seats but wanted more than face value. Their reasoning was that these seats were on the lower level or in the club level. Thus, fans who wanted a good seat would pay more for those seats, which made sense to me. However, I did not care where I sat. Since tickets were $60 from the box office, I knew I would not have to pay more than that. I offered a few scalpers $30 but they said no. I even increased my offer to $40 but was still told no. Instead, I decided to wait. As I waited a fan with about 10-15 extra tickets showed up and offered his tickets for sale at $20 each. I was the first on the scene and paid him $20 for a single. Other fans followed suit.
Instead of sitting in my lower level seat, I chose to sit in the upper deck since it was less crowded.
Florida St. defeated Wisconsin 42-13 in a game that was relatively close at halftime with Florida St. leading 14-3. However, Florida St. scored 3 touchdowns within 5 minutes at the end of the 3rd quarter and beginning of the 4th quarter to take a 35-6 lead.
Florida Citrus Bowl
This was the second time I attended a bowl game at the Florida Citrus Bowl. The first being the Citrus Bowl on January 1, 1997 when Tennessee defeated Northwestern 48-28. Not much has changed with the stadium from what I remember. The main difference with the stadium is that it has temporary carnival style food vendors rather than permanent concession stands.