Are you so inspired by the Jayhawk’s Sunday win over the Tar Heels that you’re ready to catch them live at the Final Four in New Orleans? Here’s a guide to help you get there, stay there, and get in the Superdome for the March 31 and April 2 games.
Warning: It’ll cost you. And better act fast, because prices are climbing by the minute.
• By automobile: It’s 872 miles from Allen Fieldhouse to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. Google maps estimates the trip should take 14 hours and 31 minutes. To get there before the 5:09 p.m. start of the Louisville-Kentucky game, an ambitious traveler would need to set off from Lawrence at 2:38 a.m. Saturday. Of course, you need to factor in bathroom, food and fuel stops. So you’ll need to depart Lawrence much earlier.
If you fuel up in Lawrence, with gasoline prices about $3.70 a gallon, driving — based on an average 30 miles to each gallon — would cost about $215 round trip.
• By plane: Certainly a costlier mode of transportation, plane tickets leaving from Kansas City on Friday to New Orleans, and returning Tuesday, will cost between $1,200 and $2,500, according to a survey of several websites.
• By train: For $354, you could take an Amtrak train from Kansas City to New Orleans. However, the train would leave at 7:43 a.m. Friday, and not pull into New Orleans until 3:30 p.m., but still in time for tip off.
• By bus: To get to the Superdome for tip off, you’d have to leave Lawrence at 6 p.m. Thursday, and you’d arrive in New Orleans at 8:30 p.m. Friday — all for $143.
Where to stay
A search on Hotels.com shows the cheapest nightly hotel rate in New Orleans at the Maison St. Charles Quality Inn & Suites, at $299 per night. A four-night stay — which many of the hotels require for the Final Four — would cost about $1,200. Staying at the Maison St. Charles would put you at 2.1 miles from the Superdome.
Getting a seat
A variety of online ticket sites, such as StubHub.com and Primesport.com, are offering Final Four tickets on a ticket exchange program for groups of two to 20. The cheapest tickets, including both games, is listed at $175 per ticket. But if you have the cash, you can spend up to $15,000.
How’s that budget looking
If you carpool with one friend, drive to New Orleans, share a room, and buy the nosebleed seats, you can get in and out of the Final Four — not including KU championship shirts or food — for about $883.