Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Fresno Bus Needs Boosters

As an experiment the WBB Office promoted fan buses for two games: this Sunday's game at UC Davis, and the 12/30 game at Fresno. It costs several hundred dollars to rent a bus and driver for a day, and the WBB program doesn't have the budget to subsidize our rides. A minimum number of commits are needed to ensure that the cost will be (nearly) covered. This weekend's Davis game didn't make the cut. Only 19 FBC members handed in applications, well below the minimum needed. So the Davis bus has been cancelled. Will there be a Fresno State fan bus on 12/30? That will depend entirely on how many sign up. Remember, that game is on a Wednesday night and it's a 175-mile drive:
View Larger Map Without the bus, any fan who wants to attend the game has the choice of either staying overnight in Fresno, or driving home over Pacheco pass in the dark. With a bus, you can see the game and then catch some z's while the bus rolls along home. To help ensure a fan bus rolls to Fresno, sign up now!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Wet Day in Norfolk

The remains of Hurricane Ida put a lot of rain and wind on Norfolk, VA on thursday. One thursday news report of Tara's comments on the signing of Chiney Ogwumike mentioned that she was speaking from the team bus which was in "knee-deep water." When our flight arrived at Norfolk airport at 9am there was only light rain but a stiff 25-knot breeze. As we drove to the ODU campus through city streets, we had to drive around one large downed tree that was blocking half a street. We noticed several other downed trees. Norfolk is threaded by "rivers" which are all really estuaries of the Hampton Roads bay. We drove alongside and crossed a couple of these, and the water seemed quite high, up close to the top of the bank. High tide is around 6pm and with a strong breeze off the Atlantic, some of these may flood. Power is out in sections of the city, and several traffic lights were dark. Traffic was light and most people were handling the missing lights properly (treat them as four-way stops). However, there are lights on in the Ted Constant arena, and the Lady Monarchs' website (linked from the FBC schedule page) confidently says the game will go on at 7pm. There will be at least 7 cardinal fans in the seats, so we'll see!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Who's Going to UCONN 12/23???

Are you going to follow the Cardinal to Hartford for the 23 December game? If so, two notes: One, the game location, which until recently was on the campus in Storrs, has now been announced for the larger XL Center in Hartford. This makes your travel logistics a bit easier, as described on our Travel Page. Second, we have a note from Greg Louden, who is the chair of the Stanford Band Alumni Board, and says he...
happens to have family in central Connecticut. I'll be visiting them this holiday season, and naturally wanted to go to the UConn game. Being the chair of the Alum Board and knowing of the enthusiasm of band alumni for the women's b-ball team, I'm trying to put together, if not a band, at least a small cheering section to support the team in Hartford.
If you are going on this trip, contact Greg right away to see if you can meet up or coordinate with him in some way.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Help transition Mac to Matt

By our special correspondent in Eugene, H. Benson

This year the Cardinal play in the Beaver's orange-and-black arena in Corvallis on Thursday, Jan. 21st. Then, Saturday Jan 23rd, we play for the last time ever in the historic Mac Court.

If you haven’t attended a game at Mac Court (also known as The Pit) at the University of Oregon, you really should do so this season. It is this arena’s last year, to be replaced by the resplendent Matthew Knight Arena next season. As nice as Matt will be, Mac Court has a uniqueness that should be experienced. It is a true home court advantage for the Ducks.

Then, when you learn your way around Eugene this season, you’ll want to plan for the next season as well. While I’ve been in Eugene this month, Matt reached a construction milestone. The bulk of the concrete work is ending, and the workers are turning to raising the structural steel. Here is a picture of the general scene with large tower cranes... And here is the arena in the rough. The really good news about Matt is the large attached parking garage, which will eliminate the haphazard street parking that was a less-pleasant part of the Mac Court experience.

For trip-planning advice, see the Travel Page.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Eighth Trip: Duel in the Desert

Continuing our preview of the 2009-10 road trips...

Thanks to the desire of FOX/CSN to televise the Stanford-ASU game, we play first in Tempe on the evening of Thursday, 2/25. For you non-retired fans, that pretty much means taking Thursday and Friday off. As described on the Travel page, it may be possible to work half a day and fly to Phoenix Sky Harbor Thursday afternoon. But it's tight.

However you work it, ASU is always the tougher opponent with a high-energy, sold-out arena. That's the don't-miss game. Afterward, you might just grab a motel in Phoenix and fly home next morning.

If not, you now have all Friday and Saturday morning to do things around Phoenix and/or Tucson; see the Travel page for links to some of the many interesting destinations.

The Arizona game is in Tucson at 3pm MST on the Saturday. That leaves adequate time to return to Sky Harbor (love that airport name) and get home Saturday night.

For fans with time to travel, a whole 'nother approach to this trip would be to make it Tucson-centric. Fly (or drive) to Tucson arriving on the Thursday morning. Get a good nap, then drive 2.5 hours to Tempe for the game. Drive back to Tucson that night. Spend a nice weekend in Tucson or use Tucson as a base for driving southeast to places like Tombstone and Bisbee.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Seventh Trip: Washington

We continue our logistics planning for the 2009-2010 away games.
Check the archive list on the right for prior trips.

The schedule for this trip is brutal for anyone with a nine-to-five job. It just isn't is just barely possible to see the WSU game and get home for work Monday.

Friday in Seattle

The weekend starts well with a 7 PM Friday evening game (we presume; game time is still TBS) at the UW. You can expect heavy street traffic and possibly bad weather, so, one, tell your hotel you'll be checking in late, and two, allow three hours from touchdown to reach Hec Edmundsen Pavilion (click the venue in the Schedule page for a map).

You have Saturday at large in Seattle (see the Travel page for things to do).

Then, probably, you'll grab a leisurely flight home, because...

Sunday in Pullman

The WSU game is at 2pm NOON on the Sunday.

It's easy to get from Seattle to Pullman. You drive down to SeaTac and catch a one-hour flight to Spokane, which with clear weather, will be spectacularly scenic. In the pleasantly low-key Spokane airport you grab a rental car and drive 90 minutes to the WSU campus in Pullman. Since game time is 2pm, you have all morning to do this.Game time is noon but Alaska has 7am and 8am departures from SEA that will do.

After the game you can still get home. Say you fire up the rental car at 2:15pm. You are back to Spokane airport at 4pm so a 5pm departure is makeable. And hey, looka here: United has a nonstop GEG-SFO departing at 6:18! Book it, baby! Or, call Alaska Air and let the friendly operator work out a return to SJC or OAK via either Seattle or Portland.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Sixth Trip: Oregon

We continue previewing the road trips of 2009-10. For the earlier trips, see the archive list at the right.

The Oregon trip is one of the most popular with FBC members. It's not too far; Oregon is scenic; the arenas are historic; the towns, especially Eugene, are pleasant. On the Travel page we delve into the fly/drive tradeoff and itineraries.

Thursday, Corvallis and OSU

This year the first game is at Corvallis at 7pm Thursday January 21st. Corvallis is the more northerly town, an hour nearer to Portland and an hour farther from the Bay Area. If you drive up from the Bay Area, you can stop off in Eugene, check into a hotel, drive on to Corvallis, and drive back to Eugene after the game—but that makes for a long day. If you fly to PDX and drive down, it makes sense to plan to stay that night in Corvallis and move on to Eugene next day, or even Saturday.

Saturday, Oregon and Eugene

The Saturday game at Mac Court is at 11am, so you can get a good start on a southward drive.

There's lots to do and shop and eat in Eugene. The Travel page has a list.

The Valley River Inn has always been popular with FBC travellers. This year we can also recommend the Hilton Eugene, which is easier to get to and in easy walking distance of downtown shops and even the Oregon campus.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Fifth trip: Los Angeles

This season the Cardinal plays USC at the Galen Center on Friday, January 8th. Game time is (sigh) TBS, but supposing it will be 7pm as would be typical, you can sneak out of work early on the Friday afternoon, catch a 2pm AA flight or a 4:10 Southwest flight at SJC, grab a rental car and be at the Galen Center door in plenty of time. Well, enough time.

Once there you can see what kind of team the troubled USC Athletics administration has managed to scrape together (read Bob Kinder's analysis for the juicy details).

You get all day Saturday and Sunday morning to live it up in the greater L.A. Basin. What will you do with the time? Share with us in the comments, please?

The UCLA game will be on Sunday at (you guessed it) TBS o'clock 2 PM. Supposing it will be the typical 1pm, you can catch a 5:25 Southwest or You should be able to make the 6:45 AA return flight—but don't book this flight until the game time is announced. If there was a late decision to put the game on TV, the start time might be later.

If you would rather drive (the Travel page talks about the fly-drive trade-offs), you can schedule a leisurely start Friday, go down 101 with a lunch stop at Pea Soup Anderson's in Buellton, or someplace in Santa Barbara. With two drivers trading off the return trip up I5 can be completed on the Sunday night.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Local Trips: Davis and Fresno State

UC Davis

In our haste to write about the UConn trip we skipped over a local road-trip, Sunday November 22 to UC Davis. The route to Davis is 114 miles, and Google's estimate of 2 hours is conservative for a Sunday afternoon. Here's the route:

View Larger Map

The game time isn't set. If it's midday (1pm would be typical for a Sunday game) is 2pm, so it should be feasible to make the round-trip in a day. If it's later, see our Travel Page for a motel recommendation.

Fresno State

On Wednesday 12/30, at the ever-popular TBS 7 o'clock, the Cardinal plays the Fresno State Bulldogs in Fresno. It's a 3.5-hour drive over Pacheco Pass; here is a route-map:

View Larger Map

It's a bit hard to plan for this trip without knowing the game time. If the game starts in the middle of the day, it would be possible to make it a day-trip and be home that night. If Since the game starts after 6pm, you may want to think about a motel. Expedia lists a number of motels in Fresno at $40/night and up.

Possible Booster Buses

The FBC board have very tentatively discussed the possibility of running booster bus for either of these trips. If you would be interested in taking a bus to Davis, or to Fresno, instead of driving yourself, please send email saying so to No bus will happen unless the board is pretty sure of enough riders to pay for it!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Second Trip: UConn

We continue our previews of the road trips of 2009-10. See the "Archive" menu on the right for the preceding ones.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009 will be the historic date on which Stanford initiates a home-and-home series with the UConn Huskies. In coming years we will always be at away to UConn and at home to Tennessee, or vice versa!

The game will be played on the UConn campus in Storrs, CT at a time to be specified. (The time was 5:30 ET in a preseason schedule but has gone back to "tba" on the official Stanford schedule.) Stay-at-homes will be able to watch it on ESPN. But if you want the full experience (and no nattering Debbie Antonelli) you will have to travel to the game.

We've got logistic and booking tips on the Travel page. Here we just want to comment on the thoroughly miserable scheduling of this game. It falls on the first day of a national five-day holiday orgy:

  • Wednesday, National Get Your Shopping and Wrapping Done Now day
  • Thursday, Christmas Eve
  • Friday, Christmas
  • Saturday, National No Available Parking Space at the Mall day
  • Sunday, National Buyer's Remorse and Recriminations day

And they expect us to travel over the best part of that? It's asking quite a lot of the fans.

Monday, July 20, 2009

The First Trip: ODU and Rutgers

We are starting a series of posts to preview the road trips of the upcoming 2009-10 season. Use this info to help plan your winter travels, make early reservations, or just to daydream a bit!

If you plan to make one of these trips, or if you have any other thoughts about travel, please add a comment below. Other FBC members will be interested. (Yes, really they will!)

First Trip: ODU and Rutgers

There is no easy fall tournament this year, no Virgin Island or Hawaii fun time. We get right down to business on Friday evening, November 13, when the Cardinal play on the Old Dominion campus in Norfolk VA. In our travel notes we assume taking an overnight flight from SFO on the Thursday night, giving most of a day to check into a hotel and poke around Norfolk. (We'll post some links to attractions later.)

The next game is at Rutgers on Sunday, giving a day and a half to traverse some very interesting territory (google map). The possibilities for sight-seeing are wide: you could stop off in Washington DC, in Baltimore, in Philadelphia; you could even have a day and night in Manhattan, and go out to Rutgers on the train. Update:We've put details of DelMarva Peninsula highlights on the travel page.

Those of us who attended the last game at Rutgers—Kayla Pedersen's impressive debut, the game won by Candice with a free-throw after Epiphany Prince made a silly foul—remember very well how "The RAC" is full to the rafters with loud, friendly, red-clad fans.

The Sunday game time is still TBS but, assuming a typical 1pm start, it 2pm ET will be easy to fly home to the Bay Area that evening from nearby Newark Airport. there is a Continental departure for SFO at 5:45 and a United flight at 6:20. There are no nonstops to SJC but several 1-stops via Denver.

Up next— Connecticut for Christmas eve...

Friday, April 3, 2009

St. Louis 'Cues

St. Louis means barbeque! Sometime in your 3+ days under the Arch, you gotta chow down on dry-rub ribs, slow-cooked brisket, pulled pork, sweet-potato fries, spicy baked beans... Yum! Checking a variety of sources the following downtown locations look like good bets: Pappy's Smokehouse, 3106 Olive St. From Yelp: "...picnic tables, rolls of paper towels on each table, big squirt containers of sauce... Loud blues playing over the sound system... they serve til they run out of food, and then they lock the door. Go early or call ahead." The Shaved Duck, a new 'cue-oriented gastropub with "a terrific selection of beers... curated with great care." Order a side of mac&cheese, and apple cobbler with ice cream for dessert. Smoki O's at 1545 N Broadway, mainly take-out and located in an industrial area. If the weather turns fine, grab some takeout lunch and go to one of St. Louis' many parks.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Pep Rally and Send-off Sunday afternoon

All those going to St. Louis, plan to be at the team hotel on Sunday 4/5 from 3:30 to 5pm for a reception—complimentary nosh and no-host bar—followed by team send-off with the Band. If you hope to make this, you need to RSVP to Lisa Ortiz ( The location is the Palm Court Lobby of the Millennium Hotel St. Louis (200 South 4th st.). Here's a google map (gettin' to like this google inset thing)

Cardinal Spot in St. Louis

As at Tampa, the NCAA has designated a specific lounge for the fans of each Regional to gather. We from the Berkeley Regional are invited to hang out at:

Skybox Sports Bar & Grill
800 North Third Street
St. Louis, MO 63102

(Contrary to our usual practice, we are not linking to the bar's URL. The URL is but we do not recommend opening it; it is Flash-based, content-light, and has loud annoying music you cannot turn off.) Here's a google map showing the route from the bar (A) to the Scottrade center (B).

View Larger Map

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Planning for St. Louis

Hotels and air

The Cardinal Ticket office recommends Anthony Travel for booking hotels in St. Louis and air travel to it. Check that linked page for lists of hotels and available flights.

As usual, we don't publicize the team hotel, at least until we can announce a send-off event, but FBC members who really want to know can call the office and ask DeeDee.

WBCA High School All-American Game

The Women's Basketball Coaching Assn. stages this annual event, this year on the Saturday April 4th. Order tickets here, although when we attended the one in Tampa, there were plenty of seats available at the door.

On the roster for this year: Cal's recruits Layshia Clarendon and DeNesha Stallworth, USC's Monique Oliver, and of course, our own Joslyn Tinkle—and if you don't know a lot about her, you just haven't been reading John and Sue's Recruiting Blog.

Passing St. Louis Time

The usual schedule gives us all day Monday and most of Tuesday for recreation in the Gateway City. Here are some planning resources:


Sunday, March 29, 2009

Team Send-Off Monday 3:30

The Band and any available fans will gather at the team hotel at 3:30 pm Monday 3/30, to see the team off to the game. The team hotel is the Hilton Garden Inn San Francisco/Oakland Bay Bridge, located at 1800 Powell Street, Emeryville (google map). This is not, repeat, not coordinated with the rally bus from the Stanford Campus. That bus will depart from Stanford at 3:30, the same time the team departs from the hotel in Emeryville. To attend the send-off you must find your own way to the hotel and then to the game. Because the campus parking lots are not public until 5pm, one might plan to hang out in the hotel lobby, or at Emeryville's Marina Park, out in the Bay at the end of Powell street, and begin the hunt for parking space about 4:45 or so.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Parking Near Haas Pavilion

Do not fear the Berkeley Parking Monster! True, there is near-zero public parking near the campus during normal hours; but there is plenty of off-peak parking. Off-peak begins at 5pm weekdays and includes all day Saturday and Sunday -- which covers all game times nicely.

Here are the official rules for off-peak parking, but we can net them out as follows:

  • Buy a ticket at the dispenser machine: $1/hour with a $12 maximum.
  • Machines only take cash, so bring plenty of $1s and $5s.

Here is a relevant section taken from the official Parking Map (large PDF) showing the lots closest to Haas (click to embiggen):

Savvy Traveller Su Schaffer favors the non-University parking structure between Durant and Channing, just south of Telegraph. Other convenient lots are the Recreational Sports Facility Garage, a large underground facility just down Bancroft from Haas, and the Bancroft/Fulton lot a bit further, which can be entered from Bancroft or from Durant. There are several other public (non-University) parking facilities indicated on the full map (PDF linked above), south of the campus between Milvia and Shattuck avenues. Give yourself a little extra time for circulating these narrow, busy streets and it should be quite possible to park for the games. (Has anyone used the Ellsworth Structures off-peak? Please email if you have!)

Berkeley Hotels for Out-of-Towners

Coming to Berkeley for the Regional? Or, do you want a place to stay over after the late game on Saturday? Here are some hotel recommendations. First, three that are a very short walk from Haas Pavilion:
  • Hotel Durant, remodelled in 2008, apparently with a clever "college" theme. Some FBC members are known to be staying here.
  • Berkeley City Club, a classic building by architect Julia Morgan, praised for weddings and such events, but the rooms get mediocre reviews.
  • Bancroft Hotel, another quaint landmark building, said to have good service and breakfasts but tiny rooms and ancient furnishings.
If you don't mind a short (2-mi) drive, here are three nice places in the nearby waterside town of Emeryville:

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Game Time Set - and Party!

The game times have been set:
  • 6pm: #4 Iowa State v. #9 Michigan State
  • 8:30pm: #2 Stanford v. #3 Ohio State
In addition, the Buck/Cardinal club and Stanford Athletics are holding a pre-session get-together at Raleigh's on Telegraph Ave. For details go to the FBC Website and click on the link under Upcoming Events. Space is limited; RSVP soon! News on a possible fan bus from Stanford to Berkeley will be available soon. Go Cardinal!

Duke Out -- Times in Flux -- Check Your Email

Ninth-seeded Michigan State has fouled up everybody's plans (and brackets) by defeating Duke. The fourth team for the Berkeley Regional has yet to be determined, but it is certain that Stanford will be the highest seed present -- and the others will all be from the Central Time Zone.

What does this mean for the schedule? We may know later tonight, if the NCAA updates their bracket page following the Ball State - Ohio State game.

Fast Break members: check your email right away. Heather Owen has sent out a request for your interest in Rally Bus to the Saturday and Monday games, and another notifying you of a fan reception Saturday afternoon!

What Time is Saturday's Game???

In our prior post I said confidently that Stanford would play in the evening game, 8:30 on Saturday 3/28. I thought I had seen that as a fact online -- but now I can no longer find it, and all online sources say "TBA." So hold the phone and don't make firm plans for Saturday -- it could still turn out to be the 6pm game. It would make sense from a ticket-sales perspective to put the local favorites in the later spot, and from a TV point of view, it might make sense to put the (presumably) Duke game on at 9pm Eastern instead of 11:30pm. On the other hand, you can't tell what the NCAA and ESPN will do until they do it. Sorry to think I making you feel as confused and nervous as I feel, but that's how it is. Will update as soon as anything is known. Dave Cortesi

Monday, March 23, 2009

Early Berkeley Planning

So: on to Haas Pavilion for the Regional! First game, featuring (probably) Duke and (possibly) the upstart Ball State, is at 6pm Saturday. Second game, with Stanford versus Ohio State, at 8:30. (We don't know this yet! See later post!) The final is scheduled for Monday at 6pm (that at least is certain). Reluctant to make the long drive home at that late hour, some FBC members are thinking of taking a hotel for Saturday night, specifically the Hotel Durant, just a few steps from Haas. Some of us have thought of riding BART, and worried about the late start, likely not being able to catch a train before 11pm. In fact the BART schedule promises southbound departures to Fremont as late as 12:29am. At this point we get conflicting information on whether Stanford will have a ticket allotment to sell. If you need tickets for the Regional at Haas, call the Stanford ticket office at 9am tomorrow and ask. If they have tickets, fine; if not, go to the Cal ticket site. We also have conflicting info on whether the Cardinal will stay in a hotel in Berkeley or at home. Regardless, and also given that at this stage of the tournament, it is important not to look past the next game -- in the event the Cardinal win on Saturday, there will be some type of send-off, somewhere, some time on Monday. Check here on Sunday morning!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

San Diego Team Sendoff Monday

Come to the Cardinal team hotel, the Sheraton Mission Valley, at 4:30pm4:15pm Monday to help the Band send the team off to the game! The hotel is at 1433 Camino Del Rio South, which is a frontage road along the southern edge of Interstate 8, just East of the SR 163 junction. Here is the hotel site, the hotel's own local area map, and a rather better google map.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

San Diego Update

Late news from San Diego: The Courtyard by Marriott mentioned in the previous post has vacancies -- lots of them! This nice hotel is located in the San Diego Spectrum, a large office/condo development. There is very little traffic of any kind and you could hold a county fair in the unoccupied spaces of its parking lot. To get the $99/night deal just fill in your days on the left and click Find. Although it says $119 above, it will end up as $99. Food on campus: The SDSU website has a very nice campus map. Look halfway down on the left under Dining Services and select almost anything, and click Go. It appears that most of the food service is in either East Commons or West Common. Both buildings appear to be easily accessible from Cox Arena.

Monday, March 16, 2009

San Diego Subregional Logistics

The Venue

Our subregional games next weekend are at Cox Arena on the campus of San Diego State University. Here is the SDSU site, the arena site, and the arena seating chart. Tickets should be available from the Stanford Ticket office Tuesday morning (see you outside Gate 2 at 9?)


The least expensive flights from SFO to SAN are with United. The best deals from SJC to SAN are with Southwest (both come in around $200/person round-trip).

The Saturday games start at 5pm (Stanford plays in the second game, about 7:30pm). Hence you can book a civilized departure time for Saturday. The Monday game is at 6:30pm, hence you will likely need to stay that night and return Tuesday.


Late news! Courtyard by Marriott San Diego Central has a special deal for this tournament: $99/night (plus tax). Click the link to reserve. The hotel claims to be 10 minutes from SDSU and offers complementary parking and wi-fi.

If that doesn't suit, here is SDSU's list of hotels near Cox Arena.

There are only 2-star hotels in the near vicinity (HoJo, anyone?). At least one FBC member has booked the Ramada Mission Valley. Su Schaffer, a more discerning & experienced traveller, favors the Sheraton Harbor Island.

Free Time

San Diego affords a ton of stuff to fill your time on Sunday and Monday. Here are some starting points: The San Diego Onecard is one-price pass to a bunch of attractions. Here is the Visitor's Bureau site, and here is a list of 25 Fun and Free Things.

Looking Ahead

If you want to risk the wrath of the gods and look past the subregional to the regional at Haas, here is the link for tickets. One presumes that Stanford would have an allocation of seats to sell starting Tuesday 3/24; but if you want seats regardless of Stanford's success in the subregional, you can order them now.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

PAC-10 Tournament Day 4

Team Send-off Sunday 3:30

Come to the Wilshire Grand Hotel Sunday about 3:30pm to join the Stanford Band in sending the team off to the Championship game.

The Wilshire Grand is at Wilshire and Figueroa (Google map) in central Los Angeles. On-street parking is scarce, although there may be some on a Sunday. There are numerous parking garages in the area.

Eat/Drink Update

Everybody's Kitchen, a USC student facility just into the campus from the Radisson, is comfortable place to eat and a great price-performer (as we used to say in the mainframe business) at $10.80 for all the lunch you can eat.

Pretty much everyone who tried it found The Lab an unpleasant evening spot. However, the lounge in McKay's Restaurant is very comfortable.

Hotel Update

The Radisson is just acceptable as a place to stay, not great. Some FBC folks are staying at the Vagabond Inn on Figueroa and report it as recently-remodelled, pleasant, and quite a bit more economical. The Vagabond Inn is almost as close to the Galen Center as the Radisson (Google map).

This information is only academic now—but if we find out on Monday that we're coming back to the Galen Center for the NCAA sub-regional, keep it in mind.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

FBC at the PAC-10 Tournament

Watch this post! It will be updated frequently with news and links! Add comments below with your suggestions. Updated wednesday 3/11/09 8pm

Fan Reception Saturday

The Basketball office is sponsoring a fan reception on Saturday 3/14 at 4:30pm. Some former players will be there to mingle with us. The location is McKay's restaurant in the Radisson Hotel, a short walk from Galen center (and visible on the campus map linked below).

In these harsh economic times (drink!) the Office won't be footing the bill: drinks & snacks will be available for purchase. But there's no charge for socializing with other fans and alumnae!

Pre- and Post-game socializing

Following Thursday night's WSU-AZ game, we're going to hang out in The Lab, a pleasant new "gastropub" just south of the Galen Center. It's only open until 11pm so we won't be hanging very long—but we have a long day Friday! The Lab may be OK for a meal between the Sessions on Friday; however the wait-staff seem a bit disorganized and service may be slow. See below for more options.

After Friday's UCLA-OSU game (which should be pretty "physical," the way those two play) we recommend hanging out in the bar area at McKay's restaurant, two doors further down Figueroa from The Lab. It closes at 10:30; what is it with these places? We'll try to find a better rendezvous for the next two nights; ask us at the fan reception Saturday!

Getting Tickets

Here is the full tournament schedule.If you ordered tickets through the Stanford ticket office, you should have them now; call 650-725-2787 if you don't. If you are purchasing through the Trojan ticket site, it no longer says "Seating will be determined at a later date," but we don't know what sections they are selling. Here is the seating chart. Stanford has seats in sections 116-119. Cal has been assigned to section 115, so you could go through the Cal site and come close to the cardinal shirts.

Getting around USC

Here is a partial map of the USC campus showing the Galen center with some campus eateries marked. Print it out landscape. (Or get the complete map, a two-page PDF with a directory of all USC buildings.) This is the USC map of parking locations. Convenient to the Galen center are Parking Structures "2" and "X" (actually more visible on the map linked above).

Eating Between Games

The Galen center has concessions, but for proper meals before and between game sessions, there are decent places on the USC campus. All campus eating places are open to the public. Everybody's Kitchen, and The Cafe in Parkside College, are recommended. See the map linked above for locations. The Commons is closed for construction.

Fast Break to Santa Monica

We are recommending Santa Monica for brunch and general recreation Saturday and Sunday mornings. Santa Monica is a friendly, walkable village at the West end of I-10, rarely more than a half-hour drive from USC and less at off-peak hours. The downtown area is full of shops and good restaurants. Walk around there one of these mornings and see how many Stanford shirts you can spot!

For brunch, our L.A. scouts recommend these two places:

Here is a link to a good walking map of downtown Santa Monica, print off all 5 pages landscape format. The visitor center website has well-organized links to the many attractions and facilities.

Saturday morning there's a Farmer's Market at 3rd and Arizona, right downtown. Sunday morning there's another at 2640 Main, somewhat south of downtown. The Sunday market has live entertainment; on 3/15 that will be The Praties, an Irish traditional band.

There are of course thousands of other things to do in L.A.—share your suggestions by adding a comment to this post!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Oregon Trip Photos

FBC members who travelled to the Oregon games in January enjoyed a pizza party before the Oregon game, hosted by a local Stanford Alumni club, and a group dinner in Corvallis before the OSU game, as well as the games themselves.  Ann Hollyfield, a Cardinal fan who lives in Oregon, took photos of these four events. You can view them here.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Who's Going to the PAC-10 Tournament?

Who is going to the PAC-10 tourney? We'd like to know so we can perhaps set up some group activities. Write to with your plans! (Or, leave a comment below!) If you haven't planned your trip to the tournament yet, here is the complete schedule with a link for ticket purchase. See our Travel Page for more ticket info and hotel links. In summary:
  • Thursday 3/12: the 7-8-9-10-seed play-in games are at 6 and 8:15pm.
  • Friday 3/13 (yikes!) is "iron-butt day" with four games in two sessions. The Cardinal will play at 1:15pm (#2 seed) or at 5pm (#1 seed).
  • Saturday 3/14 the semi-final games are at 6 and 8:30pm.
  • Sunday 3/15 is the championship at 6pm.
With a Sunday game at 6pm, it's probably not feasible to fly home that night. The last flight out of LAX to SJC leaves at 8:40, so forget that. (You could catch a 10:55 flight to SFO, yawn.) The schedule gives you most of Saturday and Sunday at liberty in Los Angeles. What kind of fun things will you do to pass this time? When, and in what kind of venue, would you like to get together with other FBC members? For example, Saturday or Sunday Brunch? (If so, does anyone know a good brunch spot in L.A.?) Or, where would be a good place to gather post-game Sunday to (we hope) celebrate? Remember, you can leave comments on this posting for everyone to read.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Tickets for the LaLa Trip

The Cardinal plays at Pauley Pavilion at 7pm Friday, 2/27. There will be no problem buying general admission seats at the door. However, if you would like a reserved seat in the lower sections (and remember, the Pauley ushers are real sticklers about not letting you into the lower section without a lower-section ticket, even after half-time) you can order tickets in advance from the UCLA website. Here is a direct link to the Ticketmaster page with seating chart. As of this post you could sit pretty close to center court for $12 (plus annoying fees). The Cardinal plays at the Galen Center at noon Sunday, 3/1. Again there will be no problem getting general admission at the door. However you can buy lower-section reserved seats in advance starting at this page. That purchase site does not show you a Galen center seating chart, so use this one. As of this post, you could sit opposite a free-throw line for $10 (plus annoying fees).

Monday, January 5, 2009

On the Road: Phoenix

On the off-day between games, we went to the Desert Botanical Garden where there was an installation of Chihuly glass in the garden: glass in semi-organic forms set among the already-exotic plants like an invasion from the planet Silica.