Travel agents nervous about LSU bowl game attendance

Published: Dec. 5, 2012 at 11:26 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 6, 2012 at 1:30 AM CST
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BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - LSU's New Years Eve bowl date with Clemson is making travel agents nervous. It's no secret, the destination wasn't a first choice, but agents tell 9News so far, few are rushing to make plans to be there.

They were all ready to packages to Dallas for an LSU appearance in the Cotton Bowl. But instead, news came Sunday night that the Tigers will play in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl on New Year's Eve in Atlanta.

"We were kind of like a jilted boyfriend. We were somewhat misled, somewhat betrayed, and then all of a sudden for me, I had to start all over again," said LSU Trips owner Jim Dumigan.

Dumigan says when the Tigers were in the Cotton Bowl in 2010, fans were fired up. He says more than 200 people came to him to book travel and game packages. He says this year, he and fellow travel agents are hearing more about fans planning to sell their game tickets.

"We didn't feel comfortable that we could meet the requisites of the airlines and certainly not a charter," said Dumigan. "So as a result we've pared everything back to a land package."

Some tiger fans say this may not be the bowl they imagined the team playing in, but it's still an LSU game.

"They come out ready to play every single game, and I'll be cheering them on - whichever bowl it would have been. Chick-fil-A....I'll get a spicy chicken sandwich and some waffle fries while I'm watching them," said Leon Landry, former LSU athlete.

Other say even if fans don't plan on traveling to the game, they should celebrate and stop acting like the team had a terrible season.

"When I went to college here, I'm not going to say when it was a long time ago, we were happy if we could when 50 percent of our games. We were just happy to win a game. So I'll take a 10-2 season any day of the week," said Walk Ons general manager Brett LeBlanc.

Dumigan expects his sales to spike in the next week with the help of buzz in the sports world about this matchup.

LSU's Herb Vincent tells 9News the university has sold approximately 9,500 tickets. LSU is allotted 16,000.

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