Fans pack Eastern Iowa Airport ready for Tampa - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Fans pack Eastern Iowa Airport ready for Tampa


by Bryan Goettel

CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) - The snow, the ice, the cold. All have hit Iowa hard already this winter. All are reasons why Hawkeye fans have flocked to the Eastern Iowa Airport to head south for the winter. Or at least for a few days.

Behind the counter. On the bags. On the ears. Black and gold is everywhere you turn at the airport as Hawkeye fans begin their trip to the Outback Bowl.

"Especially after the first snow started coming I was tired of shoveling it already so I couldn't wait," said Hawkeye fan Randy Zbanek.

Zbanek's family booked their Florida trip in September. Little did they know it would turn into their first bowl vacation.

"After last year and then of course the floods and everything, it's been a terrible year around here and wanted to get away," said Zbanek.

"I've never been to a big football game like this so I'm kind of excited," said Randy's daughter, Kami. "I'm excited to go down and see all the fans and feel the energy. It's gonna be good."

Some even arrived dressed for Florida. After missing out last year, fans are glad the Hawks are giving them an excuse to get away.

"It seems more like a normal holiday for us," said Hawkeye fan Lindsay Bergdale, who is headed to the game with his wife.

So what's the bigger draw -- the Hawks...or the weather?

"Going to see the Hawks," said Bergdale.

"Oh it's definitely getting away from the cold weather for me," said Kami Zbanek.

Warm sunshine, Iowa football. Still some are in search of a little bit more.

"My cousin Bill wants us to go alligator hunting," said Hawkeye fan Jack Fratzke. 

Whatever their reasons, Hawkeye fans can't get to Florida soon enough. Only one problem. The 11:00 AM flight on Monday was delayed. So for some fans, the fun in the sun will just have to wait.

And if you're still thinking about going, there are tickets available.

Out of the 16-thousand tickets originally made available to Iowa fans, we're told there are still 2,000 seats left.

Online Reporter:  Bryan Goettel

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