Fans of Buffalo and Charlotte college football teams just found out this week that their teams will be playing in the Elk Grove Village-sponsored Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl, so it may not be too late for anyone else looking to make an impromptu getaway.
It's the second year of the municipality's unconventional sponsorship of the bowl game, in which the village's "Makers Wanted" marketing tagline is affixed to the title. Seeing it as a way to promote the town's massive industrial park, village trustees agreed last February to exercise a one-year option to renew the $300,000 sponsorship with ESPN Productions Inc.
Mayor Craig Johnson will be leading a small contingent of local business leaders to the Bahamas for the Dec. 20 game and other festivities in the days leading up to it, including a pinball tournament for the teams hosted by Elk Grove-based Stern Pinball.
Tickets to the game, scheduled for 1 p.m. at Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium in Nassau, can be purchased through the schools' ticket offices. Tickets are $50 each.
There's a number of hotels and resorts in Nassau, but the official host hotel of the bowl game is Atlantis Paradise Island. The most affordable room with double occupancy averages about $450 per night, including taxes, surcharges and resort fees.
Booked as part of a package with lodging, round-trip airfare prices start at $1,250, but go up from there depending on the day and time of departure, according to a search of Atlantis' website.
Bowl game organizers this week issued a reminder to fans who want to travel to the Bahamas to make sure they have a valid U.S. passport. In fact, the teams invited to play in the Bahamas Bowl were the first announced out of all bowl games so that fans have extra time to make travel plans and get passports if they don't already have them, officials said.
For those not making the trip, Elk Grove's official game watch party will again be at Real Time Sports Bar and Grill, 1120 W. Devon Ave.