COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — With Ohio State heading to the Rose Bowl, fans and travel agencies are already booking trips. But this year, those numbers may not be as high as usual.
“We just don’t know about how the Rose Bowl is going to go,” said Ike Reynolds, owner of Reynolds Travel.
In his 40-plus years working as a Columbus area travel agent, Reynolds has seen countless Buckeye fans follow the team around the country, but he said this year, both COVID-19 and the team’s lack of an appearance in the College Football Playoff could cause those numbers to drop.
“Maybe it’s going to be better than we think, probably going to take a couple of days for that to sort of filter through,” Reynolds said.
With Sunday’s bowl announcement, Reynolds said the agency has received around 200 hits on its website, and around 25 to 30 calls into the office, but like most things, the pandemic has hit the travel business hard.
Several fans who like to travel said the same.
“It’s a big decision, you know, whenever you go to a bowl and travel, especially now during COVID, I think a lot of people are weighing their options and everything,” said Cathy Sankey, an OSU fan.
Cathy and Jeff Sankey are two huge Buckeye fans who’ve gone to more than 20 college bowl games. They said the Rose Bowl holds a special place in their hearts.
“It’s a very beautiful setting, and it’s also very special memories from my childhood, and with our families,” Jeff Sankey said.
However, even they admit they’re not sure if they’ll be making the trip this year.
Despite the lack of a college football playoff, the Sankeys said the Rose Bowl is still a huge honor for the Buckeyes.
“I still think it’s a wonderful reward for the team, for the band, for the parents, for the fans, in terms of its prestige. It’s the granddaddy of them all,” Cathy Sankey said.
This will be the Buckeyes’ 16th time playing in the Rose Bowl, and the game is set for Jan. 1 at 5 p.m. in Pasadena, California.
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