It may not be as important or prestigious as the Rose Bowl, the Fiesta Bowl or the BCS National Championship Game, but people are eagerly buying up travel packages for Ohio State's appearance in the Sugar Bowl.

It may not be as important or prestigious as the Rose Bowl, the Fiesta Bowl or the BCS National Championship Game, but people are eagerly buying up travel packages for Ohio State's appearance in the Sugar Bowl.

As of last week, the air package for the Sugar Bowl was already sold out, according to a travel agent at the AAA branch in Hilliard. However, there were still a few three-night land packages available, costing $1,095 per person (double occupancy), and $955 for a quad. The package includes accommodations, game tickets, hotel transfers, preregistration of the Buckeye Bash, pep rally, game transfers, game souvenir, taxes and gratuities.

The agent expected the land packages to be sold out by the time you read this story.

Jean Gualtieri, owner of Active Travel, said last week that she still had some Sugar Bowl packages available.

"The hotel that we had, the Marriott, where the team was staying, that's completely sold out," Gualtieri said. "We've still got some available here and there in different hotels where you'll be within a block or if you want to be, four blocks away (from the Louisiana Superdome)."

The Sugar Bowl packages cost around $2,000, making them about $400 to $500 cheaper than last year's Rose Bowl packages, Gualtieri said, but airfare supply and demand closer to the game date could bump the price up another $200 to $1,000.

Even at the higher price, last year's more expensive packages sold better than this year's Sugar Bowl because of the prestige of the Rose Bowl.

"(Sales are) a little slower taking off than we anticipated, but we're starting to get a little bit more interest as it gets a little closer," Gualtieri said. "Ohio State, they have a strong following."

The packages include air, hotel, game ticket, free parking, and a repeat customer $25 voucher towards another trip, Gualtieri said. You can get a package minus the tickets if you already have them. Throw in another $100, and you can get admission to a pre-game party - drinks not included.

Then again, if you can't find a party in New Orleans you may need more than a GPS.

Of course, the easiest way to see the game is parked in front of your TV. OSU plays Arkansas for the first time in the 77th Sugar Bowl at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 4 on ESPN.

gbudzak@thisweeknews.com

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