March Madness: How much would it cost to follow the Cats?

TyTy Washington Jr.
Posted at 5:36 PM, Mar 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-14 19:33:57-04

(LEX 18) — As the UK Wildcats look ahead to March Madness, LEX18 is looking at what it would cost for fans to follow along from Indianapolis, then to Philadelphia, and to New Orleans, if the Cats keep winning.

LEX18 found driving would be significantly cheaper than flying, despite the high gas prices we're seeing now.

According to AAA Blue Grass, gas for the 3-hour round trip to Indianapolis would cost around $80. For the nearly 10-hour-long drive to Philadelphia and back, it would cost around $210. To go to New Orleans and back, it's about $250 for gas. Altogether, drivers are looking at $540. These numbers are based on a car with 27 mpg on the highway with a 19-gallon tank.

To plan your trip, you can use the TripTik feature in the AAA mobile app.

AAA Blue Grass spokeswoman, Lori Weaver Hawkins, said these relatively high prices for gas likely won't deter loyal Cats fans.

In a study AAA conducted, Weaver Hawkins said they found gas prices don't make a big difference in whether people decide to travel. If prices are high, like they are now, people may look to cut costs in other ways.

"Perhaps on their trip, packing some food, eating out a little less, getting good deals on hotels rather than the decision to not go at all," Weaver Hawkins said.

If driving isn't your speed, LEX18 sought the best deals for round-trip flights out of the Blue Grass Airport.

Travelers can expect to pay about $1,000 for flights to and from Indianapolis for a Thursday (3/17) to Sunday (3/20) flight, at least $600 for Philadelphia for a Friday (3/25) to Monday (3/28), and $1,000 for New Orleans for a Saturday (4/2) to Tuesday (4/5) flight. Overall, that's about $2,600 round trip for all locations.

Then, of course, you must consider hotels. LEX18 looked for the cheapest rates within walking distance, less than 30 minutes, to each stadium.

In Indianapolis, that's about $200 a night. In Philadelphia, you can expect to spend at least $300 a night. In New Orleans, if you opt for a hostel, you could pay as little as $60 per night. A hotel will likely be upwards of about $500 a night.

To watch the Cats in action in person, you will have to pay a pretty penny. And remember: these figures don't include food, game tickets, or activities in the area.

But for those able to swing it, it's a slam dunk.

If the Cats advance to each round, the schedule would be as follows: