COLUMBUS, Ohio — Because of COVID-19, no fans were allowed in Big 10 stadiums this football season.
“How devastating has this year been for the travel business,” 10TV Reporter Bryant Somerville asked Ike Reynolds.
“It’s really been horrible,” Reynolds said.
Reynolds is with Reynolds Travel in Columbus. He’s been in the business for the better part of 55 years. He says since the beginning of April pretty much all the business he does was shut down citing clients being understandably uncomfortable to travel during the pandemic. He estimates a loss of at least $100,000.
This Friday’s Sugar Bowl matchup between Ohio State and Clemson in New Orleans will allow family members of players, coaches, and staff and 3,000 tickets were approved. An OSU victory could mean the availability of more tickets for the National Championship.
“We’re attempting to do some sort of trip and that’s only going to be possible for the championship game,” Reynolds said.
Reynolds says if OSU wins and punches their ticket to the National Championship game Jan. 11 in Miami Gardens, Florida, a small number of fan tickets might be available.
“We are testing the waters about the availability of group tickets for the National Championship,” he said. “There is some possibility.”
He’s hopeful to receive between 125 and 150 tickets. If the interest is there, Reynolds Travel is looking to book a charter flight in order to go to the game and back in the same day, while taking out other accommodations like hotels and bus transportation as a way to cut down the spread of COVID-19.
“Is there anything else that could possibly be added on there to help keep people safe, help them stay apart from each other,” Somerville asked. “Anything like that when it comes to safety and health?”
“I think there’s not much we can do with the airline side of that,” Reynolds said.
Just before Thanksgiving, airlines saw the most passengers since March with 3 million. Some airlines, Reynolds says, are still filling to capacity. He says what’s important are protocols, like staying socially distant, using sanitizer and wearing masks.
The CDC has these suggested protocols when it comes to traveling during the pandemic.