You’re going to have to pull out the big bucks if you are going to see the CFP Championship in person

Jan 3, 2024, 7:00 AM

uw huskies...

Michael Penix Jr. #9 of the Washington Huskies celebrates after a 37-31 victory against the Texas Longhorns in the CFP Semifinal Allstate Sugar Bowl at Caesars Superdome on January 01, 2024 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

(Photo: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Houston, we have a problem! Going to Houston to see the University of Washington (UW) Huskies play for the College Football Playoff (CFP) National Championship against Michigan could cost upwards of $3,000 for one ticket to the game, one round-trip plane ride and one room occupancy, according to an online search. That doesn’t include fees and taxes.

Seattle travel expert Steve Danishek said those attempting to watch the Huskies live might be able to save on airfare by buying two one-way tickets because Houston has multiple airports.

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“The good news is Houston has two airports: International Airport and Hobby Airport,” Danishek said. “So they could use a few more flights going in and out, but I think this is going to be sort of like a Super Bowl-type thing. So I would even expand that radius out and look at flying into Dallas, or maybe even as far east as New Orleans or something like that.”

According to Google flights, a round trip ticket from Seattle to Houston near the date of the game ranged from $1,200 to $1,400 Tuesday. Arriving in a city farther from Houston may save airfare money, but it means you will have a rent a car, which comes with its own conditions and price tag.

“Now, the other thing too is, when you’re looking at airfare, looking at flights on a one-way basis, you don’t get a benefit for buying a roundtrip ticket on the same airline,” Danishek said. “So you may find that in a one-way ticket on different airlines, even from different airports, you might have a total better deal or lower costs. And this is certainly like the Super Bowl. For us here. It’s going to be packed, it’s going to be fun and there’s going to be a lot going on down there.”

Looking at flights to other cities

Ironically, flights from Seattle to New Orleans are much cheaper this week than they were leading up to the Huskies’ Sugar Bowl victory over Texas. A Google Flights search completed Tuesday evening showed tickets between $500 and $700 available if you fly in Saturday and leave Tuesday. New Orleans is about 350 miles east of Houston, if you don’t mind the drive.

Similar Google Flights searches done Tuesday show tickets between $700 and $900 if you fly into San Antonio, Texas, which is about 200 miles west of Houston and about the same for a ticket to Oklahoma City (about 450 miles north of Houston).

Those who are flexible with their dates may even get an ever better deal to fly into one of the large airports within several hundred miles of Houston.

You don’t have much time left to decide if you want to go to the game, which kicks off Jan. 8 at 4:30 p.m., as prices will continue to climb.

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Oh, and if you are thinking about driving, Google Maps reports Houston is over 2,300 miles from Seattle — or a 35-hour drive, not including breaks. You could also take a detour through Phoenix, which is 22 hours away from Seattle by car. From there, it will take another 17 hours to drive to Houston.

Buying tickets for the CFP title game

As for tickets to the game itself, UW already offered its allotment of tickets in early December when the team officially secured its spot in the CFP. Priority for all of UW’s tickets first went to season-ticket holders and the biggest donors to the school’s athletic department.

On the secondary market on websites like Ticketmaster, the cheapest ticket is $1,350. The game will be played at NRG Stadium, home of the Houston Texans.

Some tips to consider before you buy those tickets.

  1. Make sure, when purchasing a ticket, that the website is verified and has a secure online check-out.
  2. Use a credit card and not a debit card to make purchases for fraud protection.
  3. If it sounds too good to be true, chances are — it is.
  4. Don’t pay cash or use apps like CashApp, Venmo or Zelle to purchase tickets.

For fans who can’t afford the trip but want to see the two teams match up again in 2024, Michigan travels to Alaska Airlines Field at Husky Stadium for a rematch, of sorts, on Oct. 5 as part of the Huskies’ first season as part of the Big Ten conference.

Contributing: Steve Coogan, MyNorthwest

You can read more of Micki Gamez’s stories here. Follow Micki on X, formerly known as Twitter, or email her here.

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You’re going to have to pull out the big bucks if you are going to see the CFP Championship in person