Thursday, March 13, 2008

Planning for the Regionals

According to all the pundits, the Cardinal will be a #1 or possibly #2 seed at the Spokane Regional, to be held in Spokane, WA on March 29/31 (Sat/Mon). However, the NCAA selection committee is notoriously unpredictable and one must always allow for the possibility they would go nuts and send the team to New Orleans or to Oklahoma City (Greensboro NC seems too unlikely for even the NCAA). We won't know for absolutely sure until Selection Monday. And of course, there is always the requirement that we (whisper it) have to win two games at Maples first. All right, supposing our team is indeed slated for Spokane, how do you get game tickets? You can order tickets right now from the Spokane Arena website. Of course there is no telling where you will end up sitting (here is their seating chart). The NCAA will not allocate a block of seats for Stanford itself to sell until after the second round game has been played at Maples on March 24th. Those tickets will go on sale at the Stanford Ticket Office the next day—so clear your calendar for Tuesday morning 3/25. Do plan to order these right away that day. Or if you can't, then note the other three schools who are headed for Spokane, some of whom will be farther away and thus would likely have spare tickets. We'll post their ticket office numbers if we can. If you go through either Travelocity or Expedia you can find hotels and motels in the Spokane area which will allow you to cancel a reservation more than 24 hours ahead with no more than a service charge. But read the fine print carefully. If you are in doubt about their policies, it's a good idea to call the hotel's 800 number directly instead of going through the web intermediary. (The team hotel is probably the DoubleTree but forget it, it's booked.) A very useful tip from Su Schaffer: If you book a Senior Citizen fare through Southwest Airlines then if you need to cancel the reservation, your prepaid money is available as a credit with SWA for another flight (like, to New Orleans...). Spokane is a pleasant, compact city and the Spokane Arena is a 3/4-mile walk from the center of town, so it is not essential to rent a car for this trip. However, you will have all day Sunday 3/30 and most of Monday 3/31 to kill, so perhaps you will want a car to go sightseeing. Peter Elderon compiled a good list of local attractions in our FBC Fan Plan. Looking further ahead, the Final Four is in Tampa on April 6/8 (Sun/Tue). Again, the Stanford ticket office will not have seats to sell until the morning of 4/1. Getting to Florida from either SJC or SFO is a tedious business, with very few direct flights. In looking for flights you should investigate all four regional airports: Tampa itself, Fort Meyers (which has many flights, apparently it's a big cruise hub), Orlando (many flights owing to Disney World) and Miami. Figure a 2-hour drive to Tampa from either Orlando or Ft. Myers, and 4 hours from Miami. Most of the large hotels in Tampa are already booked for that weekend but there are lots of outlying ones. Note you can add comments to this entry. If you know anything about these trips, please do!
—Dave Cortesi

2 comments:

  1. Re: Southwest tickets, your ticket doesn't need to be at the senior fare. Any ticket can be credited to your account for use within a period of time (6 months?).

    André

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  2. The team hotel may or may not be the DoubleTree anyway; hard to say where the NCAA will assign Stanford.
    Did the Stanford Ticket Office you whether we could order as many tickets as we want, or is there a limit?

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