Monday, March 26, 2012

Following the Jayhawks to New Orleans? Check this out


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.

Getting there

• 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 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 and, 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.

Interactive map

To the Superdome

The trip to the Superdome in New Orleans, as provided by


TtownHawk 10 years, 4 months ago

Did it in 03, it was a blast! Anyone who can get off work and has the funds laying around should do it. You won't regret it!

Michael Bratisax 10 years, 4 months ago

Mardi Gras twice in one year! New Orleans is a great city that goes out of their way to welcome visitors.

Stub Hub still has some great deals..

kj_hawk 10 years, 4 months ago

I think this trip should have been mapped without driving through misery. A little longer, but well worth it.

Clickker 10 years, 4 months ago

I think they are wrong on the amtrak. I believe you have to go through leaving at 7:43 on THURSDAY gets you into New Orleans at 3:30 Friday

Brandon Devlin 10 years, 4 months ago

You are correct. . .the "City of New Orleans" leaves out of Chicago. Also, you can catch the east-bound Amtrak in Lawrence instead of driving to KC. At 5:47AM. But still. . .

brooksmd 10 years, 4 months ago

No, take Amtrak to St Louis, shuttle bus over to Carbondale, Ill, and then straight down to Nawlins. Been there, done that both directions.

Ben Kane 10 years, 4 months ago

where's the story on TRob being named a unanimous 1st team all-american (first since griffin)?

jay381 10 years, 4 months ago

I was on a 6 month long project in NOLA. I would make a couple of suggestions. If you are budget conscious try some of the major chains (Marriott, Hilton etc.) in the suburbs. Specifically Metairie or Kenner. It is only a short trip (normal day about 15 minutes but not on game day due to congestion) into the NOLA dome area. Metairie especially is a nice suburb with a great view of Lake Ponchartrain and some unique shops and like everyplace good food. You might also consider stopping in Jackson MS and going into NOLA the following morning if you can get past the minimum day charges. It is only a 3 hour drive (adjust for game day). Every major chain has something right on 1-55. If you are going to the Quarter and everyone should the Quarter is safe and a lot of fun as long as you behave but be real careful once you get just outside the Quarter. I would say some of the best authentic NOLA food is outside the Quarter. For example Brennens is great but frankly The Commanders owned by the same family is recognized as better. Sunday brunch at either is memorable. Emerils owns several great restaruants both inside and outside the Quarter. Check with the locals but I think he still owns NOLA (Quarter), Delmonico's (garden dist), and Emerils (renovated warehouse district). Mandina's is a local favorite on Canal St. (just outside the Quarter about 20 or so blocks). It was devastated by Katrina but has been rebuilt. No reservations and a waiting line that should tell you something about the food (especially trout and crab and Italian). Each is really good in its own way. Unless someone recommends a specific place in the Quarter or you know the place I would be careful. There are some fly by night rip off joints (and also some of the best) also there. There is some real crime just outside so use a vehicle, park in one of the Quarter lots and lock your doors on the way out. Do not try to walk a few blocks at night to save a few bucks. Have a great time in NOLA. If you do not it is your fault. RCJHGKU

Kit Duncan 10 years, 4 months ago

Courtyard by Marriott has rooms available but they're still not inexpensive at 329.00. The closest cheap hotels appear to be in Houma, about 50 miles away.

brooksmd 10 years, 4 months ago

Why go all the way down to Houma? Stay on the North Shore in Hammond, Covington, Mandeville or Slidell. Either is just a 1 hr drive into the dome. I live in Bush, LA, which is just north of Covington, and drove into the city everyday for 12 years. Even on Saints homegames, it is not that hard. Besides most people will walk or take a taxi from CBD hotels and there are plenty of parking lots and garages. One word of advice on the Quarter. If you turn a corner and don't see any people, don't go that way. Turn around. Stay in a group. And ignore the punks. New Orleans has just started a curfew in the Quarter to keep 16 and under out of there at night.

brooksmd 10 years, 4 months ago

If you have transportation there are excellent seafood places in Metairie. Deanies and Draggo's are great. Draggo's serves the best charbroiled oysters you'll ever eat. Definite must. Other places serve them, but none as good. Mother's in the CBD is great. Bread pudding is the biggie there. Lucy's Retired Surfer's is a nice little bar and eatery in the CBD ( Also a new sports bar just off Loyola on Poydras called Walk On's. One thing to remember, if a place in Nawlin's looks like something you wouldn't take your dog into to eat, you can bet they have good food.

itsalwayssunnyinlarry 10 years, 4 months ago

Were staying at a holiday inn in Metairie. Thanks for the recs.

Martin Rosenblum 10 years, 4 months ago

Thinking about making a stop halfway?

Memphis is a pretty logical place to stop. From here, it's about 6 hours to New Orleans.

If anybody wants input, suggestions, etc. for a stop after you cross over to the east side of the Mississippi River, hit me up here. As you might guess by my avatar, I can point you in the right direction/s for some "real" BBQ!

Ervin O'Neal 10 years, 4 months ago

Instead of "Final Four Bound" how about a big sign on your car that says "Zou Orleans Bound.... See you there Tigers!"

brooksmd 10 years, 4 months ago

Don't know about a stay over. As someone else said, it would be a good stop for a dump.

danmoore 10 years, 4 months ago

Don't use Their parent company is Expedia and includes partners in crime like Hotwire. Real crooks. Avoid at all costs.

justinryman 10 years, 4 months ago

Can somebody come up with the bus, the tickets and hotel room for $100?

Oh wait that's what Baylor had to do to get fans to their game. KU doesn't have that problem!!!!

rockchalk86 10 years, 4 months ago

I can't afford a trip to New Orleans, but I can afford a trip from Nebraska to Lawrence to watch it. I remember in 08 they opened up Allen Fieldhouse to watch the game there. I can't remember if they opened it for both games or just the championship. Has anyone heard if they are going to do that again this year?

justinryman 10 years, 4 months ago

If you see a guy in KU gear hitch hicking down I29 its me.

I can't go on Saturday my oldest has a musical. I will miss the first half of the game. But I would go Monday in a heartbeat!!!!!!

rockchalk86 10 years, 4 months ago

If they are playing on Monday I will be there. Partying on Mass Street after beating Memphis is probably one of the best experiences of my life (just don't tell my wife that)!

muzeick 10 years, 4 months ago

If you mix carriers i.e. Delta & United you can go round trip for $843. Just sayin...

bayouhawk 10 years, 4 months ago

I agree with jay381. Eat outside of the Quarter if you can. Don't eat on Bourbon. But, you can get a great po-boy at Johnny's on Saint Louis. Some great bars are Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop at Bourbon and St. Philip (allegedly the oldest bar in the U.S.) and Molly's on the Market on Decatur. Rock Chalk! I can't wait to see fellow Hawks in NOLA!

Tony Bandle 10 years, 4 months ago

In 2002 for the the St.Louis Ram Superbowl, we stayed in Baton Rouge at a nice rate, were shuttled to the game and picked up. I can't remember how much it cost because we lost to those cheating, Godf-forsaken Patriots......but it was fun!!!

Whatever you do, go to Bourbon the daytime!!! Get out before sunset when the vampires show up

10 years, 4 months ago

“…those cheating, Godf-forsaken Patriots…”

Amen to that! It should have been the Raiders administering the beatdown on the Rams instead :-)

Ervin O'Neal 10 years, 4 months ago

Was there as well. BEAUTIFUL weather on Saturday. I remember most of Saturday but not all. Could not get enough of the food at Mother's Restaurant.

We stayed in McComb, MS which is about 110 miles North of NOLA. Lots of chains of hotels there and one really good catfish restaurant.

danmoore 10 years, 4 months ago

I wish the NCAA would assign a name to the winner of a regional. They could call the Midwest region the Allen Award, the west region the Wooden Award, etc. Sounds better IMO. This is a great accomplishment that I don’t believe gets enough recognition. To me it’s the equivalent of winning a BCS bowl and the banners should be hanging in the rafters of AFH.

danmoore 10 years, 4 months ago

Too generic. Like calling the World Series the MLB Championship or the Heisman Trophy the College Player of the Year award. Lacks a certain je ne sais quoi.

Greg Bowles 10 years, 4 months ago

Congrats to coach Self and the team. What an epic victory. Go get Ohio State and bring another championship home.

Scott Smetana 10 years, 4 months ago

What's the scalping situation for the final 4? Tickets at a retional are easy. I often find stubhubs prices to be crazy more than scalpers for NFL games.

I'm also betting tickets for the Championship game on Mondays are much easier than Saturday's tickets. If I were going, I'd look for a ticket outside on Saturday for under $500. I also don't want some crap ticket where you can't even see the players faces. If not, then watch the game at a closeby fun sportsbar and enjoy the post game festivities. If we win, buy a lower level ticket off an Ohio St. or Louisville fan.

brooksmd 10 years, 4 months ago

You'll find people selling tickets, but be warned. Scalping is not permitted around the dome. Cops will grab you if they catch you. Also, I wouldn't buy the tickets somebody printed out at home.

littledill 10 years, 4 months ago

I went in 03 and it was an awesome experience! I couldn't afford to fly to New Orleans and it was too far to drive from Colorado so I booked a flight to Houston, rented a car, and drove to NO. I did the same thing when I went to San Antonio. It was much cheaper and the drive from Houston to NO was about 5 hours or so. I didn't look to see how much flights were from KC to Houston, but probably in the $300.00 range. Can't go this year but hope there is a huge crowd to represent. Good luck!

studio 10 years, 4 months ago

After laying out the undefeated Baylor Bears, we rented a weekend house in the Garden District, had the NCAA delivery four lottery tix by mail, and waited for it to unfold. Y'all ought to have more faith and plan ahead.

litlmikeyb 10 years, 4 months ago

Getting in Thursday night. Staying at the Renaissance (using points). Still can't forgive myself for not going in '08. Vowed to not miss another one. Anybody have advice on places to eat?

Lance Hobson 10 years, 4 months ago

Where and when will the pep rally be? Also, is there a Friday shoot around? When? I'll be there!

brooksmd 10 years, 4 months ago

Please everybody who comes down. The Quarter is fun, but don't do it alone. Ignore the punks. Don't follow anybody you don't know. If you turn a corner and don't see anybody, turn around and go back to the crowd. Make sure somebody in your group stays sober. If you see cops on horseback, leave the horse alone. If somebody gets in your face, there is a good chance he or one of his friends is packin'. I'll be at the game, but I won't go to the Quarter afterwards. Haven't been in the Quarter in years. I'll get my butt back over on the North Shore.

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