Bearcat fans are Belk Bowl bound

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - In preparation for the Belk Bowl, the Bearcats have been hitting the field in Charlotte since before Christmas.

On Friday, some of the Bearcat faithful departed from Cincinnati to join their team for the big game. Provident Travel, a subsidiary of AAA Allied Group, sponsored a bus taking fans from Cincinnati to and from Charlotte, N.C.

Cincinnati will face the North Carolina Tar Heels on Saturday afternoon, with a 3:20 p.m. kickoff.

The Belk Bowl has averaged almost 60,000 fans each year, with three sellouts. In its history, the game has reached over 30 million households while drawing almost 400,000 fans to FanFest.

Fans arriving in Charlotte have more than just football awaiting them. Multi-Grammy nominee and CMA Entertainer of the Year Blake Shelton will be the featured act at the 2013 Belk Bowl FanFest, taking place outside the stadium before the game.

This is UC's second straight appearance in the Belk Bowl. The Bearcats (9-3) defeated Duke in a 48-34 thriller in Charlotte in 2012. The Tar Heels will be making their fourth appearance in the game, and first since 2009.

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