MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (WBOY) — The Big XII has largely changed since West Virginia University joined it more than 10 years ago, expanding west to add schools all the way across the country. So what would it cost to go out to each of these new towns to see the Mountaineers play in person?
For the sake of this exercise, costs will be calculated for only one person who lives in Morgantown and doesn’t pay for anything tailgate- or food-related on this trip, as the cost can vary wildly depending on how die-hard you are about the Mountaineers and whether or not you drink. The cost of housing also varies wildly in almost every city, but a good plan would be to budget an extra $100/night on average for a decent hotel room or rental.
WBOY used fueleconomy.gov to calculate gas costs between Morgantown and every new Big XII town (not including the cost of gas to get home). And gas usage was calculated based on the most common vehicle in the United States, the Honda Accord, per Insurify. This calculation also assumes that the Accord is a 2014 model with a four-cylinder, 2.4 L engine.
Cincinnati | Cincinnati, OH
Cincinnati has arguably had the most national success of the new members of the Big XII in recent years, appearing in a bowl game almost every single year since former coach Luke Fickell took the helm in 2017, and finishing the 2021 season ranked #4 in the country. It’s still unknown whether or not they will carry this new success into the Big XII, but their success has not driven ticket prices up the way you might expect. Currently, Cincinnati’s 2023 game against WVU in Morgantown only runs at about $50 each, with most of the Bearcats’ home games sitting at roughly $20 above or below this, with the strange exception of their home game against Oklahoma, which currently sits at $211 on SeatGeek.
Distance from Morgantown — 309 mi. | Estimated cost of gas — $34.16
UCF | Orlando, FL
Tickets to see the Mountaineers take on the UCF Knights in 2023 will run you about $40, according to SeatGeek. WVU is 2-0 against the Knights since they first took the field in 1979 and looks to keep that undefeated record going as they face off this year. UCF games vary wildly in price, with WVU falling in the middle of the pack. However, UCF’s remaining games can cost anywhere from $3-79.
Distance from Morgantown — 899 mi. | Estimated cost of gas — $99.52
Houston | Houston, TX
Led by former WVU coach Dana Holgerson, the Houston Cougars tickets won’t exactly break the bank. Tickets to a Thursday night showdown against WVU run at a surprisingly cheap $16, according to SeatGeek. Barring any major success by WVU or Houston in the weeks leading up to this game, it’s unlikely that these prices will increase.
Distance from Morgantown — 1,342 mi. | Estimated cost of gas — $148.56
Colorado | Boulder, CO
Tickets to a Buffaloes game skew towards the higher end of college football tickets, with tickets to a home game vs Nebraska running at $185 just to get in the door, per SeatGeek. Led by former NFL superstar Deion Sanders, Colorado’s remaining games range from a cost of anywhere between $50-110. It’s estimated that WVU will fall toward the higher end of this spectrum depending on how both the Mountaineers and the Buffaloes perform in 2023.
Distance from Morgantown — 1,482 mi. | Estimated cost of gas — $163.99
Utah | Salt Lake City, UT
Continuing our trip out west leads us to Salt Lake City to see the Utah Utes. Utah experienced very recent success in the Pac-12 and looks to carry it into the Big XII in 2024. However, this recent success has created an arbitrary increase in ticket prices—or rather has raised the ceiling of them. Tickets to a Utes game vary wildly, with some games against Division-I opponents only running you about $30-40, but others can go over $100, according to SeatGeek. As of Aug. 9, the cheapest ticket to Utah’s 2023 home opener against Florida is listed at $170, with another game against UCLA later in the season listed at $129.
Distance from Morgantown — 1,911 mi. | Estimated cost of gas — $211.47
BYU | Provo, UT
If you’re headed all the way out to Provo, Utah to catch a Mountaineer game, you won’t be putting much money down on gameday itself. According to SeatGeek, tickets for BYU home games typically run between $40-60. If you drink alcohol, you also won’t be spending any money on beer, as BYU is a completely dry campus.
Distance from Morgantown — 1,928 mi. | Estimated cost of gas — $213.40
Arizona State | Tempe, AZ
Tickets to Arizona State games fall on the lower end of the spectrum when it comes to college football tickets, but the travel all the way out to Tempe will likely offset that, as this trip is one of the farthest by car that you can take from Morgantown in the new Big XII. Regardless, for a ticket to a Sun Devils game, you’re likely looking at somewhere between $15-35, according to SeatGeek.
Distance from Morgantown — 2,070 mi. | Estimated cost of gas — $229.12
Arizona | Tucson, AZ
Similar to rival Arizona State, tickets to an Arizona game run towards the lower end of the spectrum and are possibly the cheapest in the entire new Big XII with some games dipping as low as $4 per ticket, according to SeatGeek. As a matter of fact, as of Aug. 10, no Arizona Wildcats games exceed a minimum ticket price of $20. With a move to the Big XII, it wouldn’t be out of the question to see these prices go up at least slightly. Any amount of moderate success could also increase prices as Arizona only has a grand total of six wins since 2020 with five of them being in 2022, according to Sports Reference.
Distance from Morgantown — 2,074 mi. | Estimated cost of gas — $229.51
Note that the trends for ticket prices in this article are based on numbers gathered during the week of Aug. 6, 2023. Prices for everything on this list, including travel and game tickets, can vary wildly from what is listed.