Outback Bowl Tickets Guide and Tips for your visit
Filed under Florida Vacations
The culmination of half a year’s worth of sporting and musical events, the Outback Bowl is an annual college football face-off, taking place on New Year’s Day in Tampa Bay, Florida. Hugely popular for both the game and the massed band half-time celebrations, this tradition is now in its 21st year.
This year’s game
Standard tickets to the game this year cost $75, kick-off being 1pm on January 1st 2013, at Raymond James Stadium. Children under 3 can get in for free if they don’t need a seat. However, the public seating allocation is limited and seat sizes are smaller than the cushioned member seats. All tickets sell fast, with the majority of the the prime seats allocated for club members, general members and school seating.
The general membership levels are coded as A, B and C, depending on how good the positions are and what privileges you get. For example, A membership costs $75 and allows you to buy 10 Outback Bowl tickets ($75 each) in the Green area, which denotes the seats in the corners of the stadium towards Gates A and D, B and C. The top level of this kind of package is C and for your $600 fee, you can get up to 60 seats in the Purple Area, further towards the club seating in the middle of the sidelines. All general members receive parking passes and club souvenirs.
Club membership is the top range of packages, with seats in the central band of both sidelines and a few extras besides. The basic club level (I) buys you 12 tickets in the Yellow Area – generally considered as the best seats in the house – 4 parking passes and VIP passes for 2 events in the Bowl social calendar leading up to the game. These include autumn events such as barbecues and a luncheon to kick off the college football season, as well as the gala evening at La Carte Pavillion into December. The club membership’s most prestigious package (Level V) takes you up to a total of $25,000, for which you receive 100 tickets, 25 parking passes, 6 VIP events and a corporate tent allocation to cater for 100 people.
Tips for your trip
The schedule of events in the last week of December is packed full, so it may be worth arriving early to make the most of the opportunities. Team days out are organised to local attractions such as the Busch Gardens Theme Park, for which fans can buy tickets on the day. There’s a huge beach party two days before kick-off at Clearwater Resort, involving marching band and cheerleader performances, as well as plenty of activities, including tug-of-war and live music that carries on into the evening. If you’re making a week-long visit, it might be worth checking some of the other attractions Tampa Bay is famed for; the sharks and coral reef at Florida Aquarium, the Lowry Park Zoo or the planetarium at MOSI.
Accommodation-wise, there are several areas to choose from and it might be worth mentioning the Outback Bowl to see if there are any discounts. Stay near Clearwater on the Gulf Beaches, closer to the stadium in Westshore, or opt for downtown Tampa and Ybor city for the central location and nightlife. Whether you’re here for the musical festivities, buzzing events line-up or just the game itself, the Outback Bowl is one of the most celebrated national events in America and should certainly promise a memorable time.
Shannen Doherty is a sports journalist and blogger who also writes for several events websites. Attending both college and professional football games throughout the year, getting Outback Bowl tickets is still one of her highlights.