Monday, November 29, 2010

TCU Tailgate and Visitors Guide


Congrats to TCU on selection to the Big East Conference. I'll be adding a new TCU Guide over the next 2-3 months. I have been to TCU and can easily say it will become one the favorite road game trips for Big East Fans.

TCU sits south of down Fort Worth. Fort Worth is said to be where the west begins. There is so much to do here. For Big East visiting fans this should be one of the trips you decide to add a few extra days to your trip. I recommend staying and checking out all that Fort Worth has to offer. From the Fort Worth Visitors Guide:
Five distinct, world-class museums anchor a park-like setting in Fort Worth's Cultural District. The Amon Carter Museum, the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, the Kimbell Art Museum, the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, and the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame offer a wide variety of experiences and masterpieces to thrill the senses and expand the mind.

TCU CAMPUS--One of the Prettiest in the Big East

First Things First: GETTING THERE

The closest Big East School is Louisville and that is still about 850 miles. So unless you live near Ft Worth you most likely will be flying in. You really only have two options: Dallas Fort Worth International or Love Field.

Dallas Forth Worth International AKA DFW

DFW is located about 15-20 miles northeast of Fort Worth and ground transportation is limited to Fort Worth. If you are staying in downtown Fort Worth the (Trinity Railway Express) train might be a viable option. From airline terminals: Airline travelers arriving at DFW Airport board Remote South buses at designated stops in the terminal. Buses depart the terminals approximately every 15 minutes. At Remote South, passengers connect to buses serving the CentrePort/DFW Airport Station. Buses to CentrePort/DFW Airport Station depart Remote South every 15 minutes. Note: No service on Sunday so your return trip might be affected. Another service is the airporter which offers pickup/delivery service from Fort Worth downtown hotels and DFW. More info about DFW ground transport options to include rental cars is here.

Dallas Love Field

If you fly Southwest Airlines you'll be flying into Dallas Love Field. It is located near downtown Dallas and ground transportation options for those going to Fort Worth is pretty much rental car or taxi. It is located about 40-45 miles from TCU and you'll be driving in urban/suburban traffic the whole way.
So plan carefully if using Love Field.

If you have time and are adventurous you can look into Amtrak Train service into Fort Worth. The train station is downtown near the convention center.


TCU's historic Amon G. Carter Stadium is on campus and lends a great game day environment. It is undergoing a huge renovation and should be ready for TCU's inaugural season in the Big East in 2012. Tickets will be incredibly hard to come by in 2011 as capacity will temporarily be reduced to the low 30's in 2011. I highly recommend visiting fans buy their tickets through their own university in 2011.


TCU has a great tailgating environment. A nice overview from a few years ago shows a commitment to large scale tailgating rarely seen in the Big East. Various groups are detailed here...Big East schools the bar has been raised. Note: Be advised due to construction many tailgate locations listed in the articles will be changed.

NOTE: I will be expanding this section late summer 2011 as more info is released about tailgating. The on going Amon Carter Stadium construction is sure to impact some the past tailgate lots and traffic flow.

Tailgating at TCU

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The closest places to pick up tailgate supplies: There are several convenience stores and a newly updated Kroger at University and Berry (campus) to buy beer. The Kroger near campus has a great selection of craft beers. The old Albertson's a few blocks of campus has recently been converted also into a Kroger.  This one specializes in gourmet items.  Bluebonnet Liquor and King's Liquor are also close to campus for your liquor needs. Goody Goody Liquor is a big liquor store in the shopping center at I-20 and Hulen, and they have a great selection of beer, liquor and wine.  The closest Walmarts are located a few miles away.

Scalpers and You:

Scalping tickets is generally legal in Texas. Just don't scalp next to the stadium in full view of the are asking for trouble.  Some suggested areas to look:  On S. University Dr.(next to the campus) driving south from I-30.  Cantey Street between University and Stadium Drive is the hot spot.  Check right in front of the University Christian Church on Cantey Street and also walk along Cantey Street.  Next place is to try around the stadium but just be mindful to do it discretely.  Another area is near the Will Call area at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum (DMC) which is just southeast of the stadium.  Finally, it you are tailgating it is always possible to find a single or a pair fairly easily among fans in the tailgate lots.  If you plan ahead you can buy tickets through resale sites like

Since buying/reselling tickets is illegal in TX you can save this for future use at other locales. A few tried and true techniques to get the best price buying I have used: 1. Know what a legit ticket looks like 2. Buy from your own fan base first 3. The smaller the group the smaller the price--single tickets are cheapest 4. Prices usually peak 1-2 hours before kickoff--inside an hour the closer to game time the cheaper the ticket, right after kickoff they plummet to near nothing 5. A fan walking to the stadium in with a group of friends and still holding extra tickets to sell will usually dump them for a cheap price (they do not want to miss the game and often they are doing a favor for a buddy to sell them) usually you'll spot them holding a finger or two out to their side or over their head or saying selling one, etc... 6. If you have to deal with a professional scalper--NEVER give him what he asks, have a seating chart with you, check to make sure all tickets are really together and for that game, offer him lower and be prepared to walk away, after you turn and walk away more than half the time in my experience they'll give in and take your offer, if you can afford to wait...wait inside 20 minutes to kickoff as see the prices drop (assess the situation for the number of tickets available, how many you need before employing that strategy) 7. Don't be embarrassed to go back to a scalper to buy ticket(s) 10 minutes after you said no to his previous offer 8. Don't fall for their tactics to make you feel like you're ripping them off by only offering $20 a ticket, etc...they love to play games with your self-image and ego.

Lodging: Close By Campus

The closest decent lodging is about 1.5 miles north of the campus along North University Drive. Motels in that area are:
Courtyard Fort Worth University Drive, Springhill Suites Fort Worth University, Homestead Studio Fort Worth Medical Area, and Fairfield Inn and Suites. If you are in good shape several of these motels are within walking distance of the stadium.

Lodging: Downtown

Staying in downtown Fort Worth is another option. It is located about 4-5 miles northeast of TCU. The downtown area is vibrant and offers big city sophistication. The Omni Forth Worth and Worthington Renaissance Fort Worth Hotel come recommended.

Lodging: Fort Worth Stockyards Area

Staying at the Fort Worth Stockyards Area is a perfect way to spend a long weekend. It is located about 8 miles north of TCU and staying here should allow the visiting fan to really soak in Texas Culture. This linked map will show you the motels located around the stockyards. If you are still unsure try reading up and seeing if the Stockyards are right for you.

Dining: West 7th St. Area

West 7th St. is located about 3 miles north of campus. It is the new, trendy area to go. Lots of good places and great people watching here.

The best burger in town just might be Fred's in the W. 7th St. Area. A little west is Kincaid's Hamburgers and they also have their fans. Delaney's Irish Pub has good pub food and lost of TVs to watch football on game day.

Dining: Campus Area

Charley's Old Fashion Hamburgers is located is south of campus near I-20 but is worth the drive for great burgers.

Barbecue: A Texas Tradition

Texas BBQ is all about beef with a little sausage and maybe cabrito thrown in for variety. Brisket is a Texas Specialty and you need to try it.

The Railhead Restaurant offers great BBQ just north of the Campus. A little further north is Angelo's Barbecue and they have been around since 1958 serving up great food. Riscky's Barbeque serves up BBQ, burgers and Steak at locations in Downtown and by the Stockyards. Also, in the Stockyard's is Cooper's Old Time Pit BBQ. Like Rudy's below they serve meat sliced in front of you by weight. One unusual thing about Cooper's is they also served Cabrito (young goat). It is actually very good.

Cooper's Old Time Pit BBQ: Smoked Meat Cut to order

Rudy's "Country Store" and Bar-B-Q is new to the Metroplex. If you are heading to the Arlington Area along I-20 be sure to stop in. Being a Yankee myself the first time you visit here will be different than up North. You need to come in and be ready to tell them how much meat (by weight) and sides you want. If you are military or retired be sure to ask for your discount. If you have time (45 mins SW of FW) be sure to drive to Stephenville, TX for Hard Eight BBQ. It is worth the trip. Finally, if you are near the DFW Airport North Main Street BBQ is definitely worth a visit.

Hard Eight BBQ: Smoking Meat the Tejas Way


Due to Fort Worth's southern location you can expect consistently warm weather golfing through Halloween. November will be mostly good weather with some days warm and other days cool. Occasionally, November can bring a strong cold front but definitely you should bring your sticks when coming to a TCU game anytime during football season.

Fossil Creek Golf Course
: One of the nicer layouts in Fort Worth. If you want a nice challenge this is the place.

Just the way golf was meant to be, Fossil Creek will challenge golfers of every ability. Gorgeous rolling fairways and 18 testing holes all intertwined throughout streams created by Fossil Creek. This exclusive par 72 public course, designed by America's foremost golf legend, Arnold Palmer, winds its way through 1150 acres of natural Texas terrain.

Surrounded by rocky-ledged creeks and crystal lakes, gently contoured bluffs and massive trees, each of the 18 holes at The Golf Club at Fossil Creek issues the premier challenge to experienced and beginning golfers alike.

Fossil Creek--18 Hole Layout

Pecan Valley Golf Course: One of the best Municipal golf courses in Fort Worth. It is located about 15 mins southwest of TCU.
Originally designed by Golf Course Architect Ralph Plummer in 1963, there are two 18 hole golf courses separated by the Clear Fork of the Trinity River. The "River" Course, considered one of the top municipal courses in Texas, plays to about 6,100 yards from the Regular (White) Tees and can be extended to 6,600 yards from the Championship (Blue) Tees. Play from the Forward (Red) Tees is just under 5,600 yards.

The "Hills" Course, where the back nine holes designed by Golf Course Architect Dave Bennet, were added in 1982 and is approximately 150 yards shorter than the River Course. Several hundred trees have been planted and are just beginning to mature which will improve playing conditions in the years to come.

Tierra Verde Golf Course: Located east of Fort Worth in Arlington and is an exceptional course and worth the drive.
It's hard to find a more beautiful course than the award-winning Tierra Verde Golf Club. Tierra Verde is the first golf course in Texas and the first municipal course in the world to be certified as an Audubon Signature Sanctuary. Walk onto the first tee and enter an environment where golf and nature come together in harmony. Opened in 1998, and carved from 250 acres of secluded terrain, the course's unsurpassed layout encompasses a variety of natural settings and offers an outstanding playing experience on every hole. Each hole has five sets of tees, sculpted fairways, strategically placed sand bunkers and water hazards - all accented by stately trees and beautiful native grasses.

Tierra Verde:  Be Sure To Pack Your Sand Wedge

Southern Oaks Golf Course: Located south of town in Burleson. It is a very good course and a good value.
Designed by PGA Champion Mark Brooks, Southern Oaks Golf Club was inspired by the simple elegance of early American courses and the time-honored links of Scotland. This spectacular daily-fee course combines timeless, classic golf course architecture with modern facilities and amenities.

Encompassing 300 acres, the lands natural features are artfully modified and arranged to produce an intriguing and visually striking golf course that assimilates the scenic beauty of the local terrain. The course is built on softly rolling landscape that is beautifully framed by centuries-old trees and intermittently intersected by Village Creek. Mark Brooks skillful design blends these elements to create a course of exceptional character with a wonderful balance of long and short holes.

Z. Boaz Golf Course
This course is suitable for the hacker and is fairly inexpensive.
Z. Boaz is located in the west sector of the City, surrounded by a network of major traffic arteries. This 18 hole regulation length facility was designed by Golf Course Architect John Bredemus. The original design of the course featured small greens, minimum trapping and few hazards. The par 70 course plays to a length of 6,033 yards from the Championship (Blue) tees, 5,655 yards from the Regular (White) tees and 4,782 from the Forward (Red) tees.