CHARLOTTE, N.C. --A major winter storm has stranded thousands of Christmas fliers and may impact the Belk Bowl that is set for Thursday evening in Charlotte.
At Charlotte Douglas International Airport Wednesday night there were flights coming but very few departing or arriving from the Midwest or New England.
That includes flights from Cleveland and Cincinnati where fans are trying to get here for the Belk Bowl between Cincinnati and Duke.
Cincinnati's marching band made it--barely.
"Coming in the weather was a little iffy but we got here," said Jody Bess, a band director.
A band member, Brittany Ziegler was wondering about some of the students who were trying to get to Charlotte by bus.
"Our student bus left at 8:30 a.m. and from what I have heard they are almost here, so that is good. But people driving, I know they are definitely taking it slow to get here," Ziegler said.
If the fans all do make it here it will have an economic impact on uptown bars and restaurants that are usually slow in the week between Christmas and New Year's Eve.
At the Carolina Ale House, Manager James Hillier said, "We're expecting a little more business than is typical right after Christmas when there is not a lot of people in town. So it will be kind of nice to have all the people here."
The game is expected to draw some 60,000 fans to Bank of America Stadium.
More Thursday flights canceled
On Thursday morning, most early flights to destinations like New York, Newark and D.C. were canceled as well. The delays and cancelations are especially difficult because this is such a busy travel week, as many people return from their Christmas holiday or embark on the New Year's destination.
Some travelers were stranded in the Charlotte airport on their way to destinations in the northeast. However, rebooking on another flight is tricky, because there are so few open seats available.
Experts are advising travelers to check ahead with their airline before heading out the door.