Saturday, April 29, 2017

Columbus in November

Updated 1 May with info on hotels and SWA flight.

The Cardinal play Ohio State on Friday, November 10th at St. John Arena on the campus of Ohio State. Then on Sunday, November 12, they'll participate in "Showdown to Columbus" at Nationwide Arena, the site of the Final Four. There will be two games in that event: Stanford vs Louisville and Ohio State vs UConn. Here is a map showing the relation between the two sites. The Ohio State campus is a ten-minute drive from the downtown area and the Arena.

No times have been announced for any of these games. One hopes the first will be Friday evening, and that the second two games will start no later than noon Sunday. This post will be updated when times are set.

Flight Logistics

John Glenn International Airport at Columbus (code CMH) is not served by any nonstop flights from a Bay Area airport. All flights require a change of planes in Phoenix, Denver, DFW or O'Hare. (Phoenix? Why would there be nonstops from Phoenix to Columbus, but not from SFO?)

Update 1 May Thanks to a heads-up from fan Gregory Smith we learn that Southwest has one non-stop, OAK-CMH. It departs at 10:35 and arrives at 5:55, somewhat iffy if the game starts at 7 or earlier. SWA also has a one-stop (no plane change) flight departing at 7:30 and arriving at 5pm.

As usual with eastbound flights, one must depart very early to arrive by 5pm. The best selection of flights is from SFO, with both American and United offering multiple departures that arrive in Columbus between 3:30 and 4:30. San Jose also offers at least four departures that arrive before 5pm. All these flights depart around 5-6am. sigh!

If you want to get there way early, both American and United have red-eye flights from SFO that depart around midnight and get in before 10am.

For the return leg, much depends on the game times. United and American both have Sunday departures between 5 and 6pm, arriving either SFO or SJC around 10pm. Southwest has 6pm and 6:50pm departures for OAK. But if the Stanford game is scheduled to start later than 2pm Sunday, return that day becomes very iffy. This paragraph will be updated when the time is settled.


Downtown Columbus has all of the usual hotel chains, with at least four major ones in easy walking distance of the Arena, and several more around the nearby city center. Prices appear to run from $400-$500 for a Friday-Saturday two-night stay. (Add another $150 if you have to stay Sunday night as well.) You can cut that in half by staying on the outskirts of town. If you plan to have a rental car, look for hotels west of town along I-270. We plan to stay downtown and use Uber/Lyft to get around.

Update 1 May Thanks again to Gregory Smith we learn that on the Saturday, Ohio State hosts Michigan State for football. That's likely to be a somewhat big deal in Columbus. It accounts for why is already showing a few hotels as sold out for this weekend. If you plan on making this trip, it might be wise to book your hotel now, and your flight as early as you are sure you are going.

Columbus Attractions

Columbus is situated on a curvy stretch of the Scioto river (extra points to anyone who already knows the correct pronunciation!). The city is in the middle of the heartland. If you draw a line from Chicago to Washington, DC, and another line from Cleveland to Louisville, Columbus is in the center of that big "X". While it is surely a most worthy city, it doesn't have any famous attractions. Here is Tripadvisor's list of attractions, and here is Yelp's list.

It looks as if one could spend a couple of hours strolling German Village.

These specialized museums might appeal to particular visitors. The Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum houses a large collection of cartoon art from all eras with a rotating exhibit of original works. The Jubilee Museum has Catholic devotional art and artifacts. The Central Ohio Fire Museum has restored fire-fighting equipment in a restored firehouse. The Kelton House Museum is an 1850-era Victorian mansion one can tour.

Please feel free to post a comment with more suggestions!


  1. I had heard the girls are playing in Vegas Thanksgiving. Is that still on in addition to Columbus ?

    1. Yes, we'll do a separate post for that when more details are known.

  2. The state capitol, Ohio Statehouse, is downtown with guided tours generally every daytime hour. If I go to Columbus, I'll work that into my schedule.