When: 5:30 p.m. Thursday
Where: Mountaineer Field, Morgantown, W.Va.
Online: Chat about the game live at buffzone.com.
When the Buffs play away games — like Thursday’s match against West Virginia — they play way, way away. Sometimes all-the-way-across-the-country away — much too far to simply load some friends, coolers and a few of those foam butt cushions into the wagon and make a day of it.
But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to cheer on the University of Colorado football team on the road. There are several options for Buffaloes willing to roam hundreds of miles to catch some live CU football.
“We’re trying to create that travel mentality,” said Dawn Barone, program manager of The Herd, the student arm of CU’s alumni association, which will sponsor its second “Buffalo Roam Football Roadtrip” this month. “Just because they’re not at home doesn’t mean you can’t support them.”
Dave Plati, CU’s sports information director, said the team appreciates the effort.
“Any help in getting our fans on the road is good,” he said. When the Buffs are on top, it’s easy to fill a faraway stadium, he said.
“But when we’re trying to get back to where we were, it’s a little more of a challenge.” That may apply this season; so far, the team has one win and two losses.
Here are some options for hardcore fans looking to hit the road this season.
Colorado at Texas Football Weekend
CU at the University of Texas, Oct. 10
Every year, the CU Alumni Association picks a “Big Away Game” and tries to rally alumni, fans and friends of CU to show up in force. This year, it’s the match-up with the Longhorns.
“We take the same pre-game atmosphere we have on campus and try to recreate it on their campus,” said Becky Cabral, the alumni association’s program manager for events and outreach.
That includes a pre-game tailgating party in Austin featuring a BBQ buffet lunch, one drink ticket per person, a DJ and emcee, and a visit from Chip the mascot. Tickets are $49 per adult.
But for the first time this year, alums will be able to purchase their hotel room, transportation, game tickets and entrance to the pre-game festivities in a single package. The packages range from $379 to $749, depending on the number of people staying in a single hotel room.
Cabral estimates that 300 to 400 Buffs will show up.
“People want them,” she said of the trips. “Our alums want them. Our fans want them.”
CU at the University of Texas, Oct. 10
The Austin Weekender started out as a small trip for 2006 CU grad Brady Ricci and his friends. But, Ricci wrote in an e-mail, the trip garnered such interest that he decided to do it up big and throw “an all-out CU traveling weekend party” that includes bar hopping on Austin’s famous Sixth Street, a spin on a party barge, a pre-game tailgating party and a farewell breakfast on Sunday.
Ricci could not be reached for comment Wednesday. But the Austin Weekender Web site lists several ways to get to the party, including all-inclusive flight packages and a “U-Drive” option. Prices vary, but a “U-Drive” package that includes two nights in an Austin hotel costs $439, the site says.
Buffalo Roam Football Roadtrip
CU at Kansas State, Oct. 24
This trip is for the students. For $109, current Buffs can board a bus bound for Manhattan, Kan., the Friday morning before the game and arrive in the Sunflower State in time for dinner. There will be time to mingle with Kansas students and explore the campus before heading to a hotel.
On Saturday, they’ll be treated to a pre-game party by a local CU alumni chapter before heading into the stadium to form a patch of black and gold among K-State’s purple and white.
Barone said The Herd started the trip last year to increase CU fan presence at away games.
“We decided, ‘Hey, CU doesn’t travel well.’ We need to get fans in these away stadiums.”
Last year, three charter buses brought 150 students to an away game at the University of Kansas, CU’s closest competitor. This year, Barone hopes to fill four buses with 210 students. After the game, students will have a chance to grab dinner on their own before heading back to Boulder.
“It’s definitely an environment where you get to meet all sorts of new people who go to CU,” Barone said of the trip. “You share a bond over cheering on the Buffs and traveling together.”