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JetBlue founder charters Zach Wilson tour for Week 1

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JetBlue founder David Neelman is offering fans a way to see Zach Wilson’s alma mater in action followed by the QB’s New York Jets debut.

Move over, Cosmo Kramer. The Zach Wilson reality tour is about to get underway.

Fans of the BYU Cougars eager to see both their team’s 2021 home opener and Wilson’s NFL debut in person are ready to embark on such a trek. The Cougars will battle the Utah Utes in Provo, UT on Saturday, September 11, less than 15 hours before Wilson’s NFL debut in Charlotte, where his New York Jets will battle the Carolina Panthers.

Fortunately for such seekers, David Neelman, Wilson’s uncle and the founder of JetBlue Airways, has made such a journey possible. In an offer dubbed “The Wilson Weekend”, Neelman has chartered a flight that will take fans to Charlotte Douglas International Airport from Salt Lake City International Airport immediately following the in-state rivalry game.

Those who partake will then enjoy the Jets-Panthers showdown before returning to SLC. Fans will get a chance to rest up in between flights at the Sheraton Charlotte Hotel, which is within walking distance of Bank of America Stadium.

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Though tickets to the games themselves will not be available – affording attendees an opportunity to choose where they’d like to sit in Charlotte, as well as BYU season ticket holders to join the journey – Neelman is proud of the “once in a lifetime” opportunity he’s been able to create.

“Getting a plane right now is really difficult with new TSA regulations,” Seth Neelman, David’s son who booked the event’s itinerary, told Sean Walker of KSL.com. “But David used his connections with JetBlue to get a plane, which will be staffed by a JetBlue crew and everything they needed to make it happen.”

The Wilson Weekend is a family affair in more ways than one. Wilson’s younger brother Josh remains in Provo as a sophomore linebacker. Ironically, Neelman is a Utah alum. In the detailed itinerary for the event, the slot for the BYU-Utah game reads “may the better team win”.

The BYU-Utah rivalry, dubbed the “Holy War” due to the public university Utes battling a Cougars team that predominantly features members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, dates back to 1896. Utah has earned a 62-34-4 record in the series (though BYU does not recognize the first six meetings prior to 1922).

Should the Utes win this September’s matchup, they would tally their 10th consecutive victory, which would be a new series record. Wilson was 0-2 against the Utes, with last season’s matchup canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

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