If you haven’t heard, Auburn is playing in the College Baseball World Series in Omaha this Saturday, and fans are not prepared.
Baseball fans from teams like Arkansas have been prepping for the trip to Nebraska for months, but we’re playing catch-up here in Auburn.
Transportation is tricky with high gas prices and the cost of last-minute plane tickets. Hotels are either sold-out or costly. And how do you even get into the stadium to see our Tigers play?
College-age Auburn baseball fans have to be smart when planning this last-minute trip.
Dylan Larck, a recent Auburn University journalism graduate, and his sports-fanatic friends are weighing their options as they decide to trek up to Omaha or stay in town and watch the games at a buddy’s house.
“Auburn was not expected to ever make it this far this season,” Larck said. “Auburn fans are kind of behind on everything – we’re just happy to be here.”
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Because the national price for a gallon of gas is hovering around $5, Larck and his friends have to consider the most logical mode of transportation. “My poor little gas-efficient Ford Focus was the first one on the chopping block to be considered,” Larck said.
If the drove Larck’s car, the group calculated the roundtrip cost of gas would come to around $400.
He and his friends are waiting until further along in the baseball championship to decide whether to take the nearly 1,000-mile journey.
Another Auburn University graduate student is definitely making the trip to Omaha.
Kaylee Horton played softball for Ole Miss from 2017 to 2019 before coming to Auburn and playing for her final season in 2021.
Horton was in the stands against Ole Miss on Saturday, and the softball player was torn between which team to root for. “I’m wearing navy, I’m going neutral,” Horton said before the game.
Luckily, she doesn’t have to worry about finding tickets to the stadium. Her friend of her, an Auburn baseball player, gave her a ticket to every game.
Larck and his four friends aren’t as fortunate. The cheapest ticket they’ve found is $108 for one game of the three-game championship series, which would include Auburn if the Tigers survive the double-elimination bracket.
“I think it would be easier to find the tickets later into the championship, but, I think with that, the price would probably go up,” Larck said.
Another issue they are running into is lodging, and on a recent college graduate budget, it’s tricky.
Horton got lucky; she has a friend who lives in Omaha. “She lives 10 minutes from the stadium so we have a free place to stay too,” she said.
As for Larck and his compadres, after much research and arguing, they decided that camping is their best option. Pitching a tent at Eugene T. Mahoney State Park in Omaha costs $15 a night.
“Camping would probably be the most cost-efficient way of staying in Omaha, but the thought of five days sharing one tent is not my first option,” Larck said.