Outback Bowl Traveller’s Guide

For the first time in nearly three years, Penn State football is coming back to the sun.

The Nittany Lions travel to Tampa, Florida to face Arkansas No.22 in the Outback Bowl. Kick-off is set for noon on Saturday January 1 at Raymond James Stadium.

Now that Penn State is officially heading to Florida, Nittany Nation is set to travel south en masse. Before you book travel accommodation for the holiday season, we’re here to help you find the best options available, from transportation to accommodation, for the last ‘family reunion’ of the 2021 campaign.


Unfortunately for the Penn Staters willing to make the trip to Tampa, the cost of the trip will likely be the most expensive part of the pétanque game experience. From State College, round-trip flights start at $ 626 for a mid-week departure and round-trip the next day after the New Year’s Day collision.

From Pittsburgh, the Penn Staters in the western state would get a small discount on round-trip plane travel, but would still have to pay more than $ 435 for a ticket to Tampa. Residents of State College and Steel City would benefit from heading to Philadelphia and flying directly to Southwest Florida from across the state.

Departing from Philadelphia International Airport, Frontier offers a $ 257 nonstop round-trip flight to Tampa, which appears to be the most affordable air travel option for local Nittany Lion supporters. Travelers outside of Keystone state can also find similar deals in Baltimore and Washington DC

If you’re aiming for profitability, the 15-hour, 57-minute drive from State College to Tampa is an additional option, albeit exhausting. The trip of just over 1,100 miles through seven states would cost you around $ 150 if your car drives the national average of 25 miles per gallon on the highway, assuming the cost of gasoline hovers around the national rate. of $ 3.35 per gallon throughout the trip.


While tickets are cheaper than other travel components, a seat at Raymond James Stadium will cost you more than the Nittany Lions’ last playoff game in the Cotton Bowl 2019. Student tickets are fixed at $ 80. , which makes the game against Arkansas 60% more expensive than buying a seat two years ago for the New Years Six Contest at AT&T Stadium.

Presale requests for Nittany Lion Club members and season ticket holders opened Monday, but general public tickets will begin at 10 a.m. on Thursday, December 9. Tickets can be purchased directly from Ticketmaster via the award of the Penn State Outback Bowl at a preset face value of $ 80.

After the initial public sale begins, additional seats can be found in secondary markets including StubHub and VividSeats. Availability and price fluctuate ahead of play on other event websites, making Thursday morning’s sale to the general public the safest way to get a fair deal for the game.


While you might not find an affordable beachfront property during your stay in Tampa, there are plenty of budget accommodation options within walking distance of Raymond James Stadium.

The DoubleTree by Hilton at Tampa Airport starts at $ 90 a night around the time of the Nittany Lions’ visit and is just a six-minute drive from the festivities outside the stadium perimeter. Other hotels, including the Grand Hyatt and the Holiday Inn, are also located near the Buccaneers’ house and cost just over $ 100 for each night.

If you plan to travel with a group, renting an Airbnb can be the most cost effective and fun way to fully experience the Florida experience. Many properties around the bay offer space for more than five people, and many have pools on-site. For as little as $ 110 per person, plus an additional cleaning fee, guests can enjoy a four-night stay in cottage-style accommodation, minutes from the action.


After a year of banned tailgating festivities leading up to the final Outback Bowl, tailgating is set to make a comeback for Penn State’s clash with Arkansas.

Stadium parking lots open at 8 a.m. on game day and cost $ 35 for standard vehicles, $ 90 for campers, and $ 120 for buses. Although January 1 turns into Beaver Stadium south on match morning, several limitations hamper standard tailgating procedures.

No grilling is allowed in the stadium parking lot, according to information from Outback Bowl fans to guide. Additionally, mobile ticketing will be the only means of entry into the stadium, and there is a strict no-bag policy at Raymond James Stadium on match day.

If various items are accidentally brought to the port of entry, storage lockers are available just southeast of Gate C for $ 10 per locker.

Pennsylvania State Official Travel Packages

To avoid logistical issues throughout the trip planning process, Penn State offers Bowl-specific travel packages through its travel partner, Anthony Travel.

With the package, fans will receive a three-night stay at the Westin Tampa Bay, a seat in the college-sponsored pre-game tailgate, and game-day transportation for $ 880 per person. Unlike two years ago, the current travel package does not include accommodations in Tampa from State College.

Connor Krause is a sophomore from Pittsburgh, Pa., Majoring in journalism. He has been a lifelong Penn State football and basketball fan and enjoys rooting for the Pittsburgh sports teams. In his spare time, Connor plays golf or basketball. You can follow his Twitter and Instagram @ ckrause_31.

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