Welcome to the 2021-2022 season as the defending National Champion Stanford Women's Basketball team competes in front of fans! Travel may not be as carefree as it was before the beginning of the pandemic, but it is possible again. The full schedule has been released and tickets for most of the games on the schedule are currently available. Some schools are only selling season tickets at this time, but all arenas are currently scheduled to be at full occupancy. There is a live link for each away location on the team's schedule page - click on the SCHEDULE button above for the latest.
With our pre-season away games being against powerhouse teams at sold-out or nearly sold-out arenas, the cost of preseason tickets at rival campuses may be high. This may also be true for some PAC-12 games, especially given how good PAC-12 teams are. With the two teams from the National Championship game both in the PAC-12, the PAC-12 may even get some of the national respect that Connecticut based ESPN (Eastcoast Sports Promotion Network) doesn't usually give us. The good news is that four of our away games (Tennessee, South Carolina, UCLA, and Oregon) will be shown nationally, mostly on ESPN2
Stanford is already scheduled for two tournaments this season -- the Thanksgiving Pink Flamingo Tournament in the Bahamas and the PAC-12 Tournament in Las Vegas. Tickets for both tournaments are currently on sale.
Nov 25-27: Baha Mars Pink Flamingo Tournament
For fans willing to travel to the Bahamas, this tournament should be fun. It is a round-robin style showcase that will have Stanford playing three games in three days, competing against Indiana, South Florida, and Maryland. For the Bahamas trip, hotel reservations at the Grand Hyatt are also available. Interested fans can find information about both at: https://bahamarhoops.com/#!/info.
March 2-6: PAC-12 Tournament , Las Vegas Mandalay Event Center
This single elimination tournament will again be held at the Mandalay Events Center in Las Vegas, home of the last two PAC-12 tournaments. The tournament starts with four games on Wednesday for teams that did not finish in the top four. Stanford will expect to escape the need to play on Wednesday, but the basketball fans may want to attend as the games are often epic. That may be especially true with year with a LOADED PAC-12. This year the PAC-12 will continue to schedule a day-off between the Friday semi-finals and the Sunday afternoon finals.
Stanford will have a team section, often in less than a prime location, with tickets available for season ticket holders. The tournament hasn't generally been a sell-out but good seats do get hard to find. If you don't want to wait, tickets and what may be discounted room reservations are now available at: https://pac-12.com/womens-basketball/womens-basketball-tournament-2022. I say "what may be discounted room reservations" because my efforts through various hotel booking sites (expedia.com, travelocity.com, hotels.com, orbitz.com, etc) found roughly the same rates. If you do book a hotel, there is an immediate charge for one night. The cancelation policy says full refund if cancelled by 72 hours (three full days) prior to check-in. Savvy travelers often book now and cancel if they can find a cheaper rate prior to the event .
The logistics for travel are considerably more complicated now than they were two years ago. Fans may want to make a rental car reservation BEFORE booking non-refundable airline tickets as until the rental car companies recover from the pandemic shutdown, there have been and may continue to be incredibly high rental car rates in many locations. Additionally, some customers have needed to wait for their reserved cars.
Airlines have also been less reliable. There have been numerous incidents of flight cancelations and schedule changes. Many airlines have cancelled direct flights to smaller destinations. This may make it difficult to plan "just in time" arrivals and departures. All of this suggests that the best "away trips" may be to the LA schools Feb. 3 (UCLA) and Feb. 6 (USC) and the Oregon schools Feb. 18 (OSU) and Feb. 20 (Oregon) as both of these are potentially drivable. However, because the UCLA game is being shown on ESPN it will be on Thursday night rather than conforming to the usual Friday-Sunday PAC-12 weekend schedule, making for a long stay in LA-LA land. Another interesting weekend away could be the New Year's trip to the Washington schools -- with a New Year's Eve game in Seattle followed by a Sunday, Jan. 2 game in Pullman. There will NOT be a trip to the desert this year. Stanford will only play the Arizona schools here at Maples.
Because the airline situation is fluid in terms of what airlines fly from which bay area airports to which cities, the best plan may be to go to search site such as google flights (https://www.google.com/flights) or Kayak (https://www.kayak.com/flights) and check out what's available from the airport you prefer. For example, Alaska and Southwest fly non-stop Eugene from Oakland and San Jose airports but as of October, only United flies there non-stop from SFO. This may change. It is difficult to predict what will happen with airline ticket prices, as the challenges of the pandemic seem to have made conventional wisdom about when to buy tickets less reliable. Most of the travel sites also provide graphs and recommendations about when to buy -- but of course they provide no guarantees if they get it wrong. Once you have decided on your airline, it is probably best to go directly to the
One piece of advice, if you go with an airline's cheapest ticket, make sure you know what you are and are not getting. For example, on Alaska the cheapest ticket does not allow you to get a seat assignment until you are at the gate. On Southwest there are no preassigned seats, you only get assigned to a boarding group when you check-in for your flight no more than 24 hours in advance. Most of the legacy airlines (Alaska, American, Delta, and United) have charges for checked baggage -- some of the cheapest tickets also have charges for carry-on baggage that won't fit under the seat!
Airport Parking (prices likely have changed)
Airport Parking Reservations has a nice search that lets you find and book the best off-airport parking at (apparently) any US airport.
For SFO you can park in the airport-run long-term lot for about $25/day, now payable with credit card or with FasTrak.
Skypark costs about $19/day for outdoor or $21/day for covered parking. ParkSFO has a building where you can have covered parking for about $17/day (their website offers coupons for 1 -3 free days, lowering the cost).
At SJC, the airport-run Economy Lot 1 costs about $15/day.
There are a variety of websites that provide information about things to do when traveling. One of the most popular, Trip Advisor (http://Tripadvisor.com) provides traveler written reviews and booking options. This will allow you to tailor your plans to your interests. (For example, if you prefer hiking to gambling, in Las Vegas you are within an easy drive (approximately 13 miles) of Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area.
As Fastbreak Club members provide additional advice, we will update this section.
Arizona: People coming in early or looking for something to do on the Saturday between games may find it interesting to check out the Saguaro National Park near Tucson (https://www.nps.gov/sagu/index.htm) -- an interesting site that isn't much out of the way.