This week, World Soccer Talk spoke with Korey Donahoo, President of The American Outlaws, the US supporters group, on their plans to go to the World Cup in Brazil and cheer on the U.S. Men’s National Team with a group of 530 soccer-mad supporters. Incredibly, the American Outlaws have chartered three planes to take all of the fans to Brazil.
When are you leaving?
How did you organize three planes to leave from Houston?
“We have a travel company that does some of the logistics for us. We’ve done a bunch of packages in the past with them and we basically tell them what we want and they go get it, so they did the reserving of the charter planes.”
How quickly did the trip sell out?
“The first plane sold out in an hour. It sold out pretty much immediately. The second and third ones we opened up and they filled up pretty quick, within a week.”
Why did you decide to cap the trip at three planes?
“We were going to cap it at one because we didn’t think we would fill it! That filled up immediately and so we took stock and we said, ‘Well we have the option of doing more,’ so we said we’d do a second one and that filled up. And our travel guy said he put a third one on hold because he said we’d get there even if we didn’t think we would. So we went for the third and we said, ‘Well we’re already at 500 people and we still want the trip to be good, not just big, it needs to be manageable.’ So we thought 500 was still manageable and still be able to deliver and make it good for everyone on board.”
So the final number of people is 500?
“It’s about that yeah, 530.”
What is the final cost for the trip?
“It was $5400 each.”
How many official American Outlaws group leaders are going?
“Almost all of the board members (4 members) and about 6-7 that help out on the national level.”
When did you start planning this?
“Really after the last World Cup. We did a package for South Africa and shortly after we said, ‘We might as well start thinking about the next one.’ Probably October of 2010 was when we started talking about it.”
How would you say this trip is different from the 2010 South Africa trip?
“On the last trip, we didn’t have anything to do with flights. We just had one bus of people so all we had was hotels and buses. In Brazil, we’re having the charter planes, which is a huge difference. We always have the night before parties, those are the same. The main difference is just package-wise, the number of people. We also have a second flight to Manaus because you can’t really drive there.”
How prepared are you for traveling around Brazil?
“That’s one of the huge advantages of having chartered flights and not having to rely on commercial flights, which can be notoriously unreliable. Getting to Manaus is going to be really really hard for any US fan, so our charter flights are going to Manaus and back and we just thought we’d have a lot less moving parts if we had that. Not relying on Brazilian airlines for that sort of thing.