13 min Read

2019 WeAreSC Travel Guide: Game 13 – The SDCCU Holiday Bowl


Date: Friday, Dec. 27Time: 5 p.m. PT/8 p.m. ET
San Diego
SDCCU Stadium
Surface: Natural grass
Tickets/Seating Chart:
213.740.4672 (GOSC)/ https://www1.ticketmaster.com/san-diego-county-credit-union-holiday-bowl/event/0A00568CB7BB32AA

Opening Betting line: Iowa opened a 2 ½ – point favorite 

Projected San Diego Gameday Weather Forecast (UPDATED): Sunny with a high of 61 and a low of 46, 63% humidity, and 10% precipitation.  

Projected weather forecast for San Diego on Friday for the SBCCU Holiday Bowl is expected to be sunny with a high in the very low 60s.

Websites: www.usctrojans.com / hawkeyesports.com

 Holiday Bowl Events

Thursday Holiday Bowl Kickoff Luncheon – Dec. 26 – 11:30 a.m./Manchester Grand Hyatt: Over 1,000 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 11:00 am with the 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 on-air personalities, as well as highlight reels from each team’s season.

For Luncheon Tickets: https://www.holidaybowl.com/game-day/kickoff-luncheon/

All orders placed after December 16th will not be mailed. If you placed your order after December 16th, your tickets will be held for you at event Will Call, which will be set up at the entrance to the ballroom on event-day.

The San Diego Manchester Grand Hyatt (photo above) will be the site for the 2019 SDCCU Holiday Bowl Kickoff Luncheon on Thursday, Dec. 26, at 11 a.m. The event will be preceded by a battle of the two university bands from USC and Iowa, respectively.

Thursday – Dec. 26 – 3 p.m.: SDCCU Holiday Bowl Balloon Parade. The scenic, bayside streets of downtown San Diego will come alive with the Port of San Diego Holiday Bowl Parade presented by Hilton! 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. Street side viewing of the parade is free!

A popular SDCCU Holiday Bowl event is the annual SDCCU Holiday Bowl Balloon Parade (photo above) downtown on Thursday afternoon, Dec. 26, at 3 p.m.

Things to do in San Diego

Balboa Park

Originally created in 1868, the park truly came to life in 1915, when it played host to the Panama-California Exposition. Now Balboa Park serves as a center for art and culture, playing host to 17 museums, as well as being home to the world-famous San Diego Zoo. You can choose to explore a few of the museums, or take a quick trip through the Zoo – don’t miss the giant pandas if you go.

Besides the world famous San Diego Zoo in Balboa Park, there is also the historic miniature train (photo above) that has been toperating since the 1950s. The train is located near the entrance to the zoo.

Old Town

Old Town State Historic Park is the most visited state park in California, and it’s free to visit. The park is on the spot of San Diego’s original downtown, and restored original historic buildings highlight what life was like in the Mexican and early American periods of 1821 to 1872. There’s lots of shopping and dining options, great Mexican food.

San Diego Waterfront

Located along San Diego’s waterfront, you’ll find great fascinating floating museums like the Maritime Museum of San Diego and the USS Midway Museum. Then, hit the shops and dining at Seaport Village. If you are looking for a more romantic evening, try a harbor dinner cruise, offering delicious cuisine and spectacular views aboard world-class yachts.

The San Diego waterfront (photo above) is one of a number of waterfront areas that brings tourists from around the country to enjoy along with the normally outstanding weather.

Mission Bay Park and Mission Beach

At Mission Bay Park and Mission Beach, you can rent a bike, in-line skates, or even kayaks or a catamaran. If you need a little more downtime, you can just people watch while you relax. Then, head into Mission Beach to grab dinner at one of the many delicious (and not that pricey) restaurants.

Legoland California Resort

Located just up the coast from San Diego in Carlsbad, LEGOLAND offers fun for everyone in your family, with eight themed areas, including Pirate Shores, Fun Town, Dino Island, and Castle Hill. In the center of the park is Miniland USA, with reproductions of seven areas of the United States, made in 1:20 scale and constructed with 20 million LEGO bricks.

Directions to SDCCU Stadium:

SDCCU Stadium (photo above) is the current home of the Holiday Bowl and was once home to the San Diego Chargers and San Diego Padres.

North County Coastal Directions to SDCCU Stadium North from Interstate 5 (1) Drive SOUTH on Interstate 5. (2) Turn EAST on Interstate 8. (3) Turn NORTH on QUALCOMM Way. (4) Turn EAST on Friars Road. (5) Turn RIGHT into the first parking lot entrance.

North from Interstate 15: (1) Drive SOUTH on Interstate 15. (2) Turn WEST on Friars Road. (3) Turn LEFT into the far west parking lot. Main Gate Entrance:

The Trojans will be appearing in the SDCCU Holiday Bowl (photo above) for the third time in six years.

Directions South from Interstate 5 or 805: (1) Drive NORTH on Interstate 5 to 805. (2) Turn EAST on Interstate 8. (3) Turn NORTH on Mission Gorge. (4) Turn WEST on San Diego Mission Road. (5) Look for the entrance gate on your LEFT.

Directions South from Freeway 163: (1) Drive NORTH on Freeway 163. (2) Turn EAST on Friars Road. (3) Turn RIGHT into the first parking lot entrance.

Directions East from Interstate 8: (1) Drive WEST on Interstate 8. (2) Turn off the Mission Gorge off-ramp. (3) Turn NORTH on Mission Gorge. (4) Turn WEST on San Diego Mission Road. (5) Look for the entrance gate on your LEFT.

There is limited parking areas surrounding SDCCU Stadium (photo above), so plan to get there early.

Directions West from Interstate 8: 1. Drive EAST on Interstate 8. 2. Turn NORTH on QUALCOMM Way. 3. Turn EAST on Friars Road. 4. Turn RIGHT into the first parking lot entrance.

Stadium Parking: If you decide to drive, plan to come early as the parking lot surrounding the stadium fills quickly due to the numerous tailgate parties and the halftime show fireworks. The city of San Diego controls the stadium parking lot and parking fees for the Holiday Bowl are $20 for cars and $60 for RVs (vehicles 20’ and over). You must tailgate only in your designated parking space. Because of limited total space, fans are encouraged to carpool, use the San Diego Trolley or bus transportation.

VIP Preferred Parking: A limited number of Holiday Bowl VIP parking passes are available for $85 each. VIP parking includes a space in the secure, fenced-in C1/D1 lot, just inside the main gates of the stadium. You have a guaranteed spot in this lot, no matter what time you plan to arrive, along with a dedicated in and out lane for easy access and egress from the stadium. Supplies are limited, so order yours today by calling the bowl office at (619)-283-5808.

Purchase Deadline If you wish to purchase a pass after December 14, you will need to come to the bowl office and buy it in person prior to game-day. VIP parking passes will not be available for purchase on game day.

SDCCU Stadium (photo above) is also home to the San Diego State Aztecs football program.

Transportation: For easy transportation to SDCCU Stadium, the Gaslamp Quarter and most major visitor attractions in San Diego, ride the MTS bus and Trolley system. The Sycuan Green Line Trolley is a great alternative to driving to the game, providing direct service between downtown, Mission Valley (including SDCCU Stadium) and East County with connections to the UC San Diego Blue Line and Orange Line Trolleys as well. Park & Ride Lots are available on all three Trolley lines for fan convenience.

One of the best transportation options for the SBCCU Holiday Bowl is to take the MTS rail system (photo above) to the game. The system drops fans off right next to the stadium, and it’s a very short walk to the stadium entrance gates.

Make using the Trolley even easier and buy your game-day 1-Day Pass on your smartphone with the Compass Cloud app for just $5. For game-day special service information, route maps, and schedules, and where to get the SDCCU Holiday Bowl Commemorative Day Pass (good for unlimited rides on Trolley or bus), visit www.sdmts.com.

Bag policy: Fans will be able to carry any of the following styles and size bag, package or container at stadium plaza areas, stadium gates or when approaching queue lines of fans awaiting entry into the stadium.

  • Bags that are clear plastic, vinyl or PVC and do not exceed 12 inches by 6 inches by 12 inches, or
  • One-gallon clear plastic freezer bag (Ziploc bag or similar).
  • Small clutch bags, approximately the size of a hand, with or without a handle or strap can be taken into the stadium with one of the clear plastic bag options however they are subject to inspection by stadium personnel.
  • An exception will be made for medically necessary items after proper inspection at a gate designated for this purpose.
Don’t forget the clear bag (photo above) policy when attending the SDCCU Holiday Bowl in SDCCU Stadium.

Prohibited items include, but are not limited to: purses larger than a clutch bag, coolers, briefcases, backpacks, fanny packs, cinch bags, seat cushions, luggage of any kind, computer/camera bags or any bag larger than the permissible size.

Trojan Walk: It figures that the Trojans busses will arrive at SDCCU Stadium between 2:00-2:30 p.m.

Game Day Sports Bar/Restaurant: McGregor’s Grill, 10475 San Diego Mission Rd, San Diego Calif. 92108, located in Rancho Mission Plaza near SDCCU Stadium. Ph. (619)-282-9797.

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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