Saturday, April 29, 2017

Columbus in November

Updated 20 September with Friday game time

Updated 6 September with ticket number and game times

Updated 26 August with game time.

Updated 25 August with ticket info.

Updated 10 August with the UConn game change.

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, at 6pm. 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 UConn at 1:30pm, and Ohio State vs Louisville following. (Previously Stanford was to play Louisville). 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.

As of 6 September Tickets for both events are handled by the OSU ticket office only (i.e. don't expect the Stanford ticket office to have any). Although the OSU tickets page has not yet been updated, you can buy tickets right now by calling the very helpful Andrew Boppel at 614-292-8098. The Friday game is general admission. Andrew will help you select reserved seats for the Sunday games.

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, a Sunday return is perhaps just possible. With a game at 1:30, we can't assume leaving the arena before 3:30; allowing a minimum of 90 minutes to return a rental car and check in for a flight brings us to 5pm. 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.


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!

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Looking up in Dallas

Dallas is yet another city that we wouldn't ever have visited, except for attending a Final Four. Cultural benefit of following @StanfordWBB! Turns out, Dallas downtown is full of fun big architecture that makes you look up all the time. Here are some pics of that architecture, as grabbed with a little ol' point-and-shoot. Click a pic to biggify it.