Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Spokane Ticket Sources

Here is the seating chart for the Spokane Arena. The Stanford seats are located in sections ... they don't know yet! As of thursday, they say they will not have assigned sections until they get there. In other news, we hear that Spokane Arena is "nearly sold out." For tickets in whatever section the NCAA finally assigns, call 1-800-STANFORd (1-800-782-6367[3]) and keep hitting "1" at every opportunity until it rings through. If you don't get satisfactory seats from Stanford you can try these:
  • Pittsburgh: 1-800-643-7488
  • Vanderbilt: 1-877-44-VANDY (1-877-448-2639)
  • Maryland's web site
Remember, anyone can append comments on this blog (just below here). If you find something out, please do add a comment! Responding to one comment: the team hotel has usually been the Doubletree, but it has been booked up for some time.

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

Monday, March 3, 2008

Three Fans in Pullman

by Peter Elderon
Peter, Wally Mersereau and Su Schaffer celebrate
Sunday was the second game for this week's FBC road trip, and on Saturday, the hotel in Spokane was basketball central: the St. Mary's team was there to play Gonzaga in a huge game for both teams and the WCC; the B State High School Basketball Championship was ongoing; and then the Stanford team showed up. There was not enough room in the inn, and (KZSU announcer) Jake (Kelman) and a few others had to wait 2 hours before getting a room. While there was still some snow on the ground, winter was retreating, and Sunday was a bright sunny day for driving over the high plains from Spokane to Pullman. This area is apparently the lentil capital of the country with Pullman as host to the yearly National Lentil Festival. The "crowd" in Pullman was somewhat sparse (a reported attendance of 675 in an arena that looks like it could hold 15,000 or more), and only 3 members of the FBC made the trip. These 3 were easily outnumbered by parents of current and former players. However, this meant we all had very good seats for what became an historic day for Candice and Stanford Women's Basketball. Candice started out strong with a series of 3s, but with about 5 minutes to go in the half, the game well in our control and "only" 14 points, she took a seat on the bench. We speculated whether it was likely she would score a point in the second half, but with under 2 minutes to go, Candice was needed back in the game. She promptly scored on a driving lay-up and was fouled. The three of us jumped up to cheer extra loud, but the game went on: she sank the free throw, and then the stadium announcer halted the game to explain why we three were cheering. The ref gave her the game ball, and she somewhat sheepishly handed it to Cissy for safekeeping while the whole crowd gave her a generous round of applause. Unfortunately, the first half also had one very down moment a bit later: Jayne and Heather Molzen, a big, tough player for WSU, got entangled while fighting for a rebound and both fell to the floor where they were clearly hurt. The refs called a foul on each. While Jayne's right hand seemed hurt, Heather appeared to have perhaps broken her wrist or forearm. (Molzen did not return to the game, but fortunately Jayne came out after half-time with only a bandage on her right thumb and played for a few minutes; she rested once the game was clearly won.)
As yet another indicator of why we love Candice, when she was taken out a little bit later, the first thing she did was go down to the end of the bench and ask Jayne if she was ok. The second half was somewhat uneventful, but Stanford did win and thereby clinched the Pac-10 championship. However, Su had gone to the Kinko's near the hotel in Spokane and had made a very nice sign to honor the occasion, and right after the game, the team posed with it to honor Candice once again. - Peter
Wally and Su join the team in celebrating with Candice