Auburn fans like red-eye package

Published 9:59 pm Thursday, January 6, 2011

Auburn coach Gene Chizik talks to his team after practice Thursday. Auburn football BCS Championship day 4 on Thursday, Jan. 6, in Phoenix, Ariz. -- Todd Van Emst

According to a release from the Montgomery Regional Airport, most Auburn fans are expected to depart from their hub Saturday.

But a group of Selma Auburn supporters will take to the air on game day and twice within a 24-hour period. Two different flights are departing the airport at 8 and 8:30 a.m. Jan. 10 with 120 passengers on each plane. The return flights will land around 3:30 a.m. Tuesday morning.

One of those boarding the Auburn red eye package, Andy Stewart, said there are numerous advantages to the package.

Email newsletter signup

“When I started looking around for hotel rooms a lot of them only had three day packages and they thought a lot of their hotel rooms too,” he said. “This way you don’t have to pay for a room and you still get to have a lot of fun and see the game.”

Stewart also said he will not have to burn vacation time at work.

“I can really just take about two days off and be okay,” he said.

Representatives of the Montgomery Regional Airport said they expect a busy weekend starting today.

“We could see close to 4,500 outbound passengers over the next week,” airport executive director Phil Perry said. “A significant number of charter flights will depart the Montgomery Regional Airport in a concentrated period of time. This will be the largest concentrated, single-event movement of people we have seen.”

Though the flight will take about four hours, Stewart and the other Tiger fans will only lose one and arrive in Arizona at around 11:30 a.m. The game will kick off at 6:30 p.m. Mountain time, which gives the group seven hours to enjoy the atmosphere.

This, Stewart said, is what he looks forward to the most.

“I can’t wait to take it all in,” he said. “Just get there and enjoy the history of it.”

The ticket comes with an added bonus as well, Stewart said. Everyone who flies in will be shuttled to “College Football’s Biggest Party” from 12:30 to 5:30 p.m. outside the stadium.

The event, which takes place at the Glendale Youth Sports Complex, is a tailgate party that includes a pep rally, band performances, cheerleaders, interactive games and food and beverage booths. The package also includes a pre-game meal.

As far as the game is concerned, Stewart said he feels confident the Tigers will come through in a high-scoring shootout.

“I think they’ll win by a touchdown,” he said. “The score will probably be something like 38-31.”