We stayed at the Downtown Marriott in the Financial District (about $600 for 3 nights) The place had been taken over by VCU Fans-all were friendly! In fact we traveled to the game with some. It was 4 subway stops to Barclay. $2.50 each way, We liked our area, it was easy to go to the games and travel around the city to see the sites. Lots of little bars and eating places and close to the 9/11 Memorial Site and Battery Park.
Friday SLU hosted the Pre-game Party. It was in the Barclay Center. Food was provided and it was quite tasty. Soda and beer was on your own. Saturday and Sunday the pre-game get together was held at a local bar, Pacific Standard. Food was provided by an outside place. There was plenty of food, wings, mini burgers to go around. Again, the food served was good! We did not attend Sundays party. (running late from a late night out on the town!)
Barclay Center Staff was exceptionally friendly. Many were rooting for the Billikens-even though they didn't have a clue what one was! Food inside was the normal over priced items you would find at any sporting event.
I thought VCU was classless at the game. Booing the basketball team, our band and cheerleaders. They put Billikens in the men's urinals. They had "Cody Ellis is ugly" signs, and they sent out some nasty tweets about hating or killling Cody Ellis...I just don't understand all the "hate" he was getting!!
Their band would replay songs immediately after SLU's Band played one-as if to say they were better! Or they would start playing when our band was already playing. There is a method to "March Madness" it's called taking turns.
VCU was there in BIG numbers! I have to tell you after seeing them all while we were waiting for our tickets- we were worried! They definitely don't lack on Spirit because they brought it! They had about 2000 people there on Sat. and someone paid for several more buses for the students to come in on Sunday!
We had a 5:40 PM flight out of Newark. We figured we needed to leave at 3:00 to made it on time for our flight. 3:00 came and the game was so intense, we decided on the next "time-out". That came and we headed out with heavy hearts not knowing what the outcome would be as we headed back to Manhattan to pick our luggage up at the hotel and catch our cab. As soon as we exited the subway we were ecstatic to find out they won and sad that we could not have stayed to watch the presentation that comes with A10victory! Had we stayed, there would have been no way we would have made it to our plane on time. The Holland Tunnel was jammed with people trying to leave NYC! With the 2 basketball tournaments, St. Patrick's Day Parade, the NYC 1/2 Marathon all going on that weekend, traffic was a nightmare! Thank goodness for our CRAZY cab driver! We made it with about 5 minutes of wait time for boarding! But we were definitely nervous about not making our flight!
We plan to go back next year, we will probably stay at the same location or they have a new Holiday Inn going up right next door. We will look for a later flight next year! It was a great location and a great time! GO BILLS!