Hawkeye fever cools a bit leading up to Insight Bowl - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Hawkeye fever cools a bit leading up to Insight Bowl

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IOWA CITY (KWWL)-- The Hawkeyes made their way across the blustery tarmac at the Eastern Iowa Airport on Monday, heading for warmer temperatures. However, judging by the relatively quiet print shop at Imprinted Sportswear in Iowa City, general manager Dave Hansen said excitement for Hawkeye football has cooled a bit, compared with the team's trip to the Orange Bowl months ago.

"We could print as many as we could," Hansen explained, "and this year we looked at it, and its at least 80-percent down."

So, with an 80-percent drop in demand for Insight Bowl apparel, combined with high royalty costs to print them, Hansen decided to go with an outside vendor to supply his retail outlets. Hansen believes this cooling effect came from high expectations for the team early in the season which were not met.

Expectations aside, there will always be the true Hawkeye loyalists. Even if Hawkeye fans around Eastern Iowa aren't quite as excited for the Insight Bowl as they were for the Orange Bowl back in January, Hansen and the University of Iowa Alumni Association said there are plenty of UI alums down in Arizona, who are chomping at the bit to get another dose of Hawkeye football.

"We have over 5,000 alumni in the greater Phoenix area," said UI Alumni Association President and CEO Vince Nelson. "Then you cake in southern California, Nevada, other states that can get there."

Nelson said no matter what struggles the team has gone through, and no matter what local bowl ticket sales may look like, "always rest assured that the alumni who love the Hawks will find a way to get there if they possibly can."

As of Monday, the University of Iowa ticket office had sold about 6,000 tickets for the Insight Bowl, much less than what they were expecting to sell. However, a spokesperson at the Insight Bowl's ticket office said they're on-track to sell the most tickets they ever have for this bowl game. Overall, 49,000 tickets have been sold.

Online Reporter - Brady Smith

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