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2015 WeAreSC Travel Guide: National Funding Holiday Bowl -USC/UW

By Greg Katz – WeAreSC.com


Dec. 30: 7:30 p.m. PT/10:30 ET
San Diego
Qualcomm Stadium
Natural grass
Seating Chart:
$35 – $135

Projected San Diego GameDay Wednesday Weather Forecast: Sunny with a high of 63 and a low of 43 degrees.





From Interstate 5 South

  1. Travel South on Interstate 5.
  2. Take exit 20 to merge onto Interstate 8 East towards El Centro
  3. Exit onto Qualcomm Way/Texas St
  4. Continue to follow Qualcomm Way north for 1 mile
  5. Turn right to merge onto Friars Rd
  6. The parking lot entrance will be on your right.

From Interstate 15 South

Please be aware – Interstate 15 South can be the most heavily congested traffic route approaching the stadium.

  1. Travel south on Interstate 15
  2. Take exit 7 for Friars Rd
  3. From the two right lanes, turn right at Friars Rd West
  4. Entrance to the parking lot will be on your left.

From Interstate 5, 805 or 15 North

  1. Travel on Interstate 5 or 805 North
  2. Take the exit onto Interstate 8 East toward El Centro
  3. Exit onto Interstate 15 North
  4. Then take exit 7B for Friars Rd West
  5. Merge onto Friars Rd West
  6. Parking will be on your left.

From Freeway 163

  1. Exit at Friars Rd. East.
  2. Follow Friars Rd East almost two and a half miles
  3. Entrances to the stadium parking lot will be located on your right.

From Interstate 8 West

  1. Drive West on Interstate 8.
  2. Take the exit toward Mission Gorge Rd/Fairmount Ave
  3. Turn right at Mission Gorge Rd and continue for almost 1 mile
  4. Turn left at Friars Rd

From Interstate 8 East

  1. Drive EAST on Interstate 8.
  2. Exit onto Qualcomm Way
  3. Continue to follow Qualcomm Way North
  4. Turn right to merge onto Friars Rd
  5. Continue one and a half miles, parking will be on your right

Prominent Tourist Attractions

SeaWorld, Legoland, San Diego Zoo, San Diego Safari Park, USS Midway Museum, Balboa Park

Holiday Bowl Events

Event: Holiday Bowl Kick-off Luncheon

Date: Tuesday, Dec. 29

Location: Hilton San Diego Bayfront Hotel

Time: 11: a.m. PT

Tickets: $65 individual/$600 full table

Over 1,200 guests annually attend this can’t-miss bowl event and are treated to a great lunch, the heart-pounding sounds of the two university bands, video team highlight presentations and team interviews. Guests have the opportunity to sit and interact with the players and coaches of the participating schools.

The event begins at 11:00am with a “Battle of the Bands.” At the end of the band concert, guests will make their way to the ballroom where they will have the chance to sit and eat with players from their favorite school. In addition to a fantastic lunch, they will be treated to a program featuring the head coaches, team captains and ESPN personalities, as well as highlight reels from each team’s season.

Event: Port of San Diego Big Bay Balloon Parade

Date: Wednesday, Dec. 30

Location: Downtown bayside

Time: 10:00 a.m.

Tickets may be purchased at the grandstands on the day of the parade for $20, cash only. Grandstands are located at the intersection of Harbor Drive & Ash Street.

The scenic, bayside streets of downtown San Diego will come alive with the 2015 Port of San Diego Holiday Bowl Parade – a San Diego Bowl Games Production. As always, this exciting family event brings together world-class marching bands, magnificent floats, entertaining drill teams, and a procession of enormous balloons – more than any other parade!

Over 100,000 street-side spectators will enjoy the parade along with a nationwide television audience. Parade festivities will begin in the television area with the finals of the 19th annual Wienerschnitzel Wiener Nationals and the Bumble Bee Seafoods 5K Run/Walk.

Tommy Trojan Game Day Tips

Parking/Tailgate: The Qualcomm Stadium parking lot opens at 11 a.m on Holiday Bowl game-day. Space is limited for both parking and tailgating. Fans are encouraged to prepay ($20 for cars/$60 Rv’s). With only 14,000 spaces for 66,000 seats at Qualcomm Stadium, the stadium parking lot is expected to be full two hours before game time.

If you are planning on driving to the stadium, you are strongly advised to carpool with four people or more and to arrive two or three hours before game time. The stadium parking lot can be expected to close almost two hours prior to kickoff during events with capacity crowds. The Qualcomm Stadium parking lot opens at 8 a.m.

 Parking alternatives:

1. San Diego State University: From I-8, exit College Avenue and go south. Paid visitor parking is available in designated campus lots. Parking rates vary by location. Take the San Diego Trolley from the SDSU Transit Center to access the Stadium.Mission City Corporate Center: (2365 Northside Dr., adjacent to the stadium) Take Friars Road west to Northside Drive. Parking is $30.

2. Marriott Mission Valley: Take Friars Rd. and exit Qualcomm Way to Rio San Diego Dr. Parking is $15. Take the San Diego Trolley to access the Stadium from the Rio Vista Station.

3.Town and Country Hotel: Continue on Friars Rd. West past Fashion Valley Mall and exit Fashion Valley Rd. Parking is $15. Take the San Diego Trolley from the Fashion Valley Station to access the Stadium.

Transportation options:

MTS Buses and Trolleys: For easy transportation to Qualcomm Stadium, the Gaslamp Quarter and most major visitor attractions in San Diego, take the MTS Buses and Trolleys. The San Diego Trolley’s Green Line between downtown, Mission Valley and East County with connections to the Blue and Orange Line and many MTS Bus Routes, stops just steps away from Gate K at Qualcomm Stadium and is a great alternative to driving to the game.

Buy your game day 1-Day Pass on your smartphone with the free MTS M-Ticket app. For game-day special service information, route maps, and schedules and where to get the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl Commemorative Day Pass (good for unlimited rides on Trolley or bus) visit www.sdmts.com.

Trojan Walk: The Trojans team busses should arrive at Qualcomm Stadium between 5:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.

Game Day Sports Bar/Restaurant:

Players Sports Bar

7061 Clairemont Mesa Blvd.

San Diego, Ca. 92111


Greg Katz
Greg Katz

Now entering his 59th season of either writing, broadcasting, or just plain watching USC football, WeAreSC columnist Greg Katz began his affiliation with the website back in 2001, introducing his well-received O/NSO (The Obvious/The Not So Obvious) column and later adding his respected IMHO Sunday opinion and tidbits column. Greg, a former ESPN.com college football columnist covering USC, is also a member of the Football Writer's Association of America. He is also known in Southern California as a professional public address announcer, having called the the 1996 Rose Bowl Game between USC and Northwestern. Greg also holds a master's degree in athletic administration and was a former varsity high school coach of 27 years.

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