How to get to the Outback Bowl with the Hawkeyes
Hawkeye fans energized by Iowa's dominant finish to the regular season have warm temperatures in a familiar spot to look forward to if they plan to travel to the 2017 Outback Bowl.
It will be the Hawkeye program's sixth appearance in the bowl, scheduled for Jan. 2 in Tampa, Fla. The opponent is the Florida Gators, who lost Saturday's Southeastern Conference championship game to Alabama.
The bowl game will be televised on ABC beginning at noon central time at Raymond James Stadium.
The two teams played each other in the Outback Bowl in 2004 and 2006, splitting those two contests. The Hawkeyes last played in the Outback Bowl in 2014, losing to LSU 21-14.
Thinking about going? We're here to help:
Tickets are available through the University of Iowa athletics website, with prices varying from $80 to $170 (that price is for club seats). The University of Iowa Alumni Association offers bowl packages too, which include charter aircraft service to and from Tampa and Cedar Rapids, hotel accommodations, transfers to and from popular events, the game and the airport, a chalk talk session with Hawkeye radio voices Gary Dolphin and Ed Podolak and game tickets.
The Alumni Association also hosts a pregame tailgate open to all for $100 a person. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
Individual tickets through Stubhub.com are priced at between $100 and $200 for lower-level seats.
According to Google Maps, it takes 19 and a half hours to drive from Des Moines to Tampa, Fla. Shave an entire hour off that haul by starting in Cedar Rapids or Iowa City!
One round-trip plane ticket from the Des Moines airport to the Tampa International Airport, leaving on Jan. 1 and returning on Jan. 3, was going Sunday for anywhere from $579 to $796, according to Expedia.
Prices are similar for flights leaving from Cedar Rapids.
Because you need a place to sleep, if you arrive on Jan. 1 and leave on Jan. 3, a hotel for that time frame ranges in price, from $110 a night to $260 a night, according to Expedia. The Tampa Stadium Hotel is within a mile of Raymond James Stadium, and 71 percent of Expedia raters recommend it. Rooms are available for $179 a night.
The Barrymore Hotel Tampa Riverwalk is just over three miles from Raymond James Stadium, with rooms available for $144 a night.
Things to Do:
The game only lasts so long. One major attraction in Tampa is the Lowry Park Zoo, where tickets are $30 for anyone 12 or older and $22.95 for kids, ages 3 through 11..
Average January highs in Tampa are around 70 degrees, so the beach is always an inviting option. According to visittampabay.com, there are 18 beaches in town that cost nothing but time.
For late Christmas gifts or retail therapy, Hyde Park Village offers on-street retail from local businesses and restaurants.