Think about it, most of your fans aren't going to be able to travel with you; ninety percent of them don't care that you have to go and play certain teams to gain a position in your ranking. They want to enjoy the spectacle of you skating close by; they may be passing excited for your national ranking, but if they're your true fans, they'll come and see you because they love your team regardless. Asking people who will never see you travel to foot the bill is kind of, unfair, isn't it?
Some teams seem to do it right when they ask their fans for money. Bay Area asked for money for traveling to Champs, but they gave their supporters a one of a kind designed t-shirt for their troubles. Leagues that ask fans to fund travel should really consider what you can do to make it worth your fans giving you money so you can play far away. Maybe your league can host a watch party if the bout is being broadcasted, or give them some kind of unique merchandise, or tickets to a home game. Give them SOMETHING that shows you care, instead of waving from an airplane window, or only thanking them on Facebook.
Just a thought.