To Attend Epic Football Games, Redeem Your Points This Autumn

For some, autumn signals the arrival of pumpkin spice everything, but it signals the start of football season for the rest of us. Until December, anticipate rematches, historic showdowns, and probably an upset or two. Even better, there are additional options this year to attend games in person if you so want.

A study examines the financial difficulties of NFL players.

Professional sports are frequently associated with fame and fortune, but many former NFL players have discovered the hard way that sometimes money cannot make up for poor choices or extravagant lifestyles. According to CT state bankruptcy laws research, roughly 16% of former football players become bankrupt within 12 years of leaving the pitch for the final time.

Warren Sapp, a defensive lineman and former Tampa Bay Buccaneer, played in the NFL for 12 years and made more than $82 million during that time. Sapp, however, got into big trouble when he added alimony and child support payments of $74,495 per month to a dubious real estate purchase. His emphasis on living a luxury lifestyle also didn’t help, and in 2012, only five years after retiring, he ultimately declared bankruptcy. Sapp said he was unable to pay his $6.7 million debt at the time, despite the fact that he was still making $115,881 each month as an analyst for the NFL Network. Sapp eventually lost his job as an analyst in 2015 after running into legal issues. His ex spouse claims that he still owes her $3 million today.

Attending a game usually presents a few obstacles, ranging from obtaining tickets to organizing travel. This year’s games add another difficulty as you finalize vaccination, testing, and distancing procedures for gameday. However, if you can overcome all of that, we’re here to help you save money by revealing our most extraordinary hotel point redemptions in these popular college cities.

Michigan’s Ann Arbor

Ohio State vs. Michigan, November 27, 2021

After not meeting in 2020 (for the first time in more than a century), Ohio State and Michigan will meet this November again. Since 2012, Ohio State has dominated this rivalry, but every Big Ten fan knows that Michigan should never be underestimated. Michigan holds the home team edge this year.

While Ann Arbor hotels are booked for this game, there are options in Ypsilanti, about a 15-minute drive in regular traffic. At the Fairfield Inn & Suites Ann Arbor Ypsilanti, redeem 30,000 Bonvoy points (or a free night credit), and 50,000 Hilton Honors points at the Hampton Inn Ypsilanti. Are you planning to visit Ann Arbor for sporting events? If you check now, you may find accommodations closer to the stadium.

Louisiana’s Baton Rouge

Florida vs. LSU, October 16, 2021

Have you seen the Florida-LSU game from last year? It was electrifying, culminating in a stunning LSU victory. While the Gators want payback, the Tigers remain a formidable opponent this season. You’ll want to keep an eye out.

The Crowne Plaza Executive Center Baton Rouge may be more hotel than necessary for a football game, but with 52,000 IHG points a night, you might as well live it up. For those who do not prepare ahead, keep in mind that motels located just over the river in Port Allen are also feasible possibilities.

North Carolina’s Chapel Hill

Miami at. North Carolina, October 16, 2021

The Tar Heels are the ACC Coastline favorites this season, and there is little question that the Miami Hurricanes will give them a fight for their money. Miami will use its intensity to make amends for last year’s setback.

The Residence Inn in neighboring Durham is an excellent family hotel, with fully equipped kitchens and plenty of room to toast your team’s success (or commiserate with your team’s defeat) after the game. It’s a steal at 20,000 Bonvoy points for the night.

Chicago, IL

Notre Dame vs. Wisconsin, September 25, 2021, at Soldier Field

Younger football enthusiasts may be unaware of the last time Notre Dame and Wisconsin met in 1964! Whether you want to go just as a spectator or as a passionate fan, you’ll need to prepare.

As is the case during Bears games, accommodations near Soldier Field are in high demand. Pay 60,000 points a night at the Hilton Garden Inn Chicago Downtown South Loop or 15,000 Hyatt points per night at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place.

Texas, Dallas

Oklahoma vs. Texas, October 9, 2021

For over a century, the Red River Showdown has been contested on neutral territory due to the magnitude of the rivalry. This year is no exception, with the game set for the Cotton Bowl. Additionally, if an exciting game isn’t enough to pique your interest, the nearby State Fair of Texas may do the trick.

Due to Dallas’s abundance of hotels — plus the stadium’s proximity to the DART Fair Park station — reserving a hotel using points is more accessible than in smaller college cities. For 40,000 points per night, try the Adolphus, another Autograph Collection hotel on the green line.

Attention: AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys, will host the Cotton Bowl this year, providing another incentive to visit town for college football. Early booking ensures the finest choices of accommodations.

Oklahoma City, Norman

Iowa State vs. Oklahoma, November 20, 2021

Make this the year you visit the Palace on the Prairie: this year’s matchup between Iowa State and Oklahoma might quickly devolve into a postseason elimination game, given how close both teams were until the final buzzer sounded.

Make your reservation today while you still have a variety of hotels to select from. For 50,000 IHG points a night, the Holiday Inn Express & Suites in Norman puts you close to the excitement. If you’re willing to go, Located in Moore, the Candlewood Rooms Oklahoma South is just 16,000.

Utah’s Salt Lake City

Oregon vs. Utah, November 20, 2021

Not to be forgotten is the Pac-12, where a couple of games, including the Ducks’ matchup with the Utes, are anticipated to be tight. Additionally, the atmosphere at Rice Eccles Stadium should ensure that this one is enjoyable to attend.

If you’re searching for optimal convenience, stay at the Salt Lake City Marriott University Park for 35,000 points per night. Otherwise, splurge at one of the Park City area’s premium resorts before ski season drives them out of reach; the Waldorf-Astoria is bookable with points and is just thirty minutes away.

Indiana’s South Bend

UNC at. Notre Dame, October 30, 2021

Night games may be more enjoyable than their daytime counterparts, if only for the duration of the anticipation and tailgating. This year’s Notre Dame-UNC game should be an exciting contest enhanced by the extra excitement of being played under the lights.

Quick bookings may get the Microtel Inn & Suites South Bend/At Notre Dame for 15,000 Wyndham Loyalty points per night. Instead of Wyndham points, the DoubleTree by Hilton South Bend is a great option, starting at 60,000 Honors points a night vs. over $500 in cash.

Mississippi, Starkville

MSU Football vs. Ole Miss, November 25, 2021

Nothing says Thanksgiving quite like the Egg Bowl, a rivalry game that will capture the attention of all college football fans due to the presence of larger-than-life coaches Mike Leach and Lane Kiffin. Instead of watching the event on television, go to Mississippi to see this gripping battle.

If you have 15,000 Wyndham points, you may stay at the Days Inn & Suites Starkville, less than a mile from Mississippi State University. On the other hand, other spectators may stay at hotels in Columbus, MS, such as the Category 1 Hyatt Place Columbus, which charges just 5,000 Hyatt points each night.

Pennsylvania’s State College

Auburn at. Penn State, September 18, 2021

Penn State games are much more enjoyable early in the season when the weather cooperates—and even more enjoyable during their annual whiteout when supporters display tremendous energy. This year’s whiteout against Auburn should be a pleasure on and off the field.

Although the nearest hotels are long gone, it does not mean you are out of luck. For 20,000 IHG points a night, book a stay at the Fairfield Inn & Suites in Huntington. To be honest, it’s near enough that exiting the parking lot will take longer than driving to the hotel.

Alabama’s Tuscaloosa

Ole Miss vs. Alabama, October 2, 2021

This SEC game can be one of the most exciting of the season. At the very least, it was last year, when an astounding 111 points were scored collectively throughout the game. Due to the vast amount of land covered, this was continual activity, and it’s possible we’ll see the same thing this year as well.

Tuscaloosa’s room costs are ridiculous during big game weekends, so cash in those Choice Hotels points if you have them. The Quality Inn may be reserved for 25,000 points per night, although members of other programs will need to prepare well in advance or make the hour-long journey from Birmingham next year.


Believe it or not, it is not too late to arrange travel for some of college football’s most anticipated matches this season. College towns still have rooms available, and if you move quickly, you may be able to trade in your points rather than pay the total price. Instead of waiting, book now: in most instances, hotel rewards stays are refundable up to a few nights before the big game, so you can always modify your plans afterward.

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