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 travel@stanfordfbc.org 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!