How Much Would It Cost to Follow Each College Football Playoff Team?

Many college football fans would give anything to see their school play in the College Football Playoff but only four fan bases get an opportunity to actually do it each year (for now). With the semifinals just over a week away, VegasInsider figured out how much it would cost fans of each 2024 playoff team (Michigan, Washington, Texas, Alabama) to follow their squad around to watch their championship pursuit in person. Our findings show that Crimson Tide fans will have the easiest time attending the games, while Huskies fans will have the toughest choice between school pride and their bank accounts. Below is our methodology and the trip costs based on length of stay.


We calculated these costs by compiling prices for flights, lodging, rental cars, and food for trips from the city each school is located in to the game locations, as well as the cost of tickets to the game itself. We analyzed costs for day trips (arriving the day of the game and leaving the next day) and weekend trips (arriving the Saturday preceding the game and leaving the day after). The costs were sourced from the following:

Flight Cost: Sourced from Google Flights, we gathered a total of 296 flight prices to calculate the average cost of air travel to the game locations from each city.

Car Rentals: Data from Expedia was utilized to analyze car rental expenses. A substantial dataset of 1,195 car rental prices was compiled to determine the average cost.

Lodging Price: To estimate lodging expenses, we collected a total of 4,335 prices from and Airbnb and averaged their costs. This diverse dataset provided a comprehensive overview of the accommodation costs associated with the trip.

Food Costs: Utilizing Numbeo, we calculated the average cost of three meals per day to estimate daily food expenses during the trip.

Ticket Price: Information pulled from TicketMaster. Prices represent the cost of one ticket (fees included) for cheapest listed seats for each game.

Trip Costs Breakdown

One Day Trips

FromToAvg Lodging PriceFlight PriceTicket PriceCar CostFood CostTotal
AlabamaRose Bowl$200.34$735.21$558.07$106.00$49.50$1,649.12
MichiganRose Bowl$200.34$933.27$558.07$106.00$49.50$1,847.18
TexasSugar Bowl$413.70$897.72$421.29$218.09$60.00$2,010.80
WashingtonSugar Bowl$413.70$1,323.05$421.29$218.09$60.00$2,436.12
The cost for one person to travel from each school location to each game for one day

Two Day Trips

FromToAvg Lodging PriceFlight PriceTicket PriceCar CostFood CostTotal
AlabamaRose Bowl$877.19$917.78$558.07$481.74$198.00$3,032.79
MichiganRose Bowl$877.19$1,215.46$558.07$481.74$198.00$3,330.47
TexasSugar Bowl$1,650.97$1,048.00$421.29$358.20$240.00$3,718.46
WashingtonSugar Bowl$1,650.97$1,618.91$421.29$358.20$240.00$4,289.38
The cost for one person to travel from each school location to each game for the weekend

Unsurprisingly, if fans want to see their team play for the lowest cost, day trips to the semifinal bowl games are the answer. Each fan base can take a one day trip to their schools bowl game for less than it would cost to go to the championship game (something that can’t be said for weekend trips). That’s thanks to the ticket price to get into the final though; tickets start at just under $2,000. In fact, if we removed ticket prices from the equation, each fan base could travel to the final for less than it would cost them to travel to the semifinal due to comparatively affordable travel costs to Houston during championship weekend. The fact that the semifinal games are part of the New Year's Six Bowl games doesn’t help matters, as travel prices are inflated due to the holiday.

On the flipside, both Longhorns and Huskies fans can get more bang for their buck taking weekend trips to the championship game. Thanks to high lodging and flight prices in New Orleans on New Year’s weekend, it is cheaper for fans traveling from Austin and Seattle to head to Houston for the big one than to travel to Louisiana for the Sugar Bowl. 

Cost To Follow Each Team Through Entire Playoffs

Trip LengthMichiganWashingtonTexasAlabama
One Day Trips$4,626.14$5,106.27$4,479.27$4,421.98
Weekend Trips$6,812.90$7,749.67$6,907.10$6,569.53
The total cost for one person to follow their school through the entire plyoffs

Alabama fans will break the bank the least following their team around, regardless of whether they choose to stay for a day or a weekend. Texas fans looking at day trips don’t have a much higher cost than their soon-to-be SEC brethren, thanks to the championship game being played in state. Unfortunately, Huskies fans drew the short straw there. Due largely to high flight costs between Seattle and New Orleans during New Year’s weekend, the cost to follow Washington through the playoffs is significantly higher than for other fan bases. A Washington fan following their team for weekend trips would spend over $1,000 more than an Alabama fan doing the same. Michigan and Texas fans hang out right in the middle, with the Wolverine faithful spending more for one day trips, but Longhorns spending more on weekend trips.

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