CHAMPAIGN — With thousands of Nebraska football fans heading to Champaign for Saturday night’s Big Ten opener, many hotels are already sold out.
And not just near campus.
“That usually happens anytime there’s a Big Ten game at home,” said Nancy Snook, with guest services at the Holiday Inn in Tuscola. “We are completely full on Saturday.”
In Arcola, the Best Western is about two-thirds full, Sheila Sentel said.
“Sometimes we get the overflow when there’s something going on in Champaign or Charleston,” she said.
Nebraska’s fans have a block of 2,000 tickets for the 7 p.m. kickoff (BTN, WDWS 1400-AM, WHMS 97.5-FM). Illinois associate athletic director Jason Heggemeyer also told News-Gazette Media there has been increased activity on the secondary market.
The team’s fans travel well, as Colorado will attest. When the Cornhuskers visited the Buffaloes on Sept. 7 in Boulder, Colo., much of the crowd at Folsom Field was dressed in red.
While housekeeping supervisor Rachel East said the TownePlace Suites in Campustown almost always sells out for football and basketball games, she said it filled up more quickly for this Saturday than for last weekend’s game against Eastern Michigan.
“We are completely sold out,” she said.
At the Holiday Inn on South Neil Street, many of the rooms will be taken up by the Cornhuskers team staying there, said general manager Vicki Dunn.
But “so far this year, we’ve been pretty good throughout,” she said. “But I think everybody’s close to being sold out.”