NORFOLK, Va. - Old Dominion University is sending its football team to the Myrtle Beach Bowl in style.
A sendoff celebration took place at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday as the team begins the roughly 5 1/2-hour drive from the L.R. Hill Sports Complex to Myrtle Beach, S.C.
The ODU band and cheerleaders were part of the event, which was also open to the public.
ODU will play Tulsa in the Myrtle Beach Bowlon Monday at 2:30 p.m. The game will be held at Brooks Stadium on the campus of Coastal Carolina University.
A bowl appearance seemed unlikely more than halfway into the 2021 season, which the Monarchs began with a 1-6 record. They would go on to win five straight games to close out the season; a 6-6 record qualifying ODU for the postseason and a chance for a winning season.
The Myrtle Beach Bowl is the Monarchs' second bowl appearance and first in the U.S. In 2016, ODU won the Bahamas Bowl over Eastern Michigan.
The university is doing what it can to get students to the game — offering free tickets and bus rides. Buses are scheduled to leave at 6:30 a.m. on Monday morning from the 49th Street Parking Garage and will return to Norfolk after the game.
The University Village Bookstore says it will also have Myrtle Beach Bowl gear available in the store and online starting Friday.
The team has arrived!! @ODUFootball leaves for the #MyrtleBeachBowl in just minutes. We’ve got the band, cheer and dance…and a solid group of fans here to celebrate the Monarchs!— Anthony Sabella (@AnthonyWTKR) December 16, 2021
Full story TODAY on @WTKR3. https://t.co/bOpZHdIkZH @ODU pic.twitter.com/FrLaThJLbD