Before I moved to Seattle, I lived in Los Angeles from 2002 to 2010. So I know my Hollywood Hills from my Topanga Canyons. Just like last year's Syracuse Fan Guide To Seattle, I'm here to help with some pointer that the many Orange fans heading to Southern California this weekend for the Syracuse Orange vs. USC Trojans game can hopefully use.
Here's how the guide is going to break down...
Part I: Lazy Tourist vs. Awesome Tourist
Part II: Neighborhood & Food Breakdown
Part III: Gameday Do's, Don'ts & Seriously, Don't Do That
So, now you know what to do Friday, early Saturday and Sunday. But it's time to make sure you are all set for Gameday, specifically what to do at the Coliseum. Let's get to it.
Driving in from another part of LA? Get there early. The 101 is a bear most times of the day on the weekend, but especially when there's a game going on. If you can avoid the highways, do it (as always in LA). If not, just plan accordingly.
Carpool or public transport it as much as possible.
The SU Alumni Club of So Cal may still have some room on their buses. Inquire within.
Lots of different lots around the stadium. USC owned parking structures open 5 hours before kickoff while the Coliseum parking lot opens 6 hours prior to the game. It's gonna cost between $20 and $25 to park, depending.
A lot of folks who live nearby offer cheap parking on their lawns and backyards. I'll just say use your noodle on that. I've done it and it worked out fine, but if you're one of the first people to get there you might be waiting a while to leave. The people who live around the Coliseum are generally very nice but there's a lot of rough parts. Caution is warranted.
First of all, Syracuse University will host a tailgate event on Saturday afternoon before the game. The tailgate, which runs from 2:30 p.m. until 5:00 p.m., will be held at the Expo Center on South Park Drive.
The event is already sold out and, if it's anything like last year's Washington tailgate, good luck trying to get in there without a ticket. I get it but at the same time it's weird when there's lot of Syracuse fans who traveled 3,000 miles and they have to stand outside the "velvet rope" while other Syracuse fans eat all the food. Whatever, make your own fun.
Try to be on the Quad-type area on campus but close to the Coliseum about 30-45 minutes before the game. The band and cheerleaders walk through and it's a whole to-do.
Wherever you're sitting, the USC Band will find you and they will play the fight song in front of you. Just accept it.
If you're accosted by Trojan fans, just start making fun of UCLA. It's the ultimate equalizer for USC folk.
Get the F out of there. It's gonna be late and that neighborhood will go from festive to ominous real quick. Head either to the LA Live area Downtown, Manhattan Beach/Hermosa or Santa Monica and party like a rockstar.
I once walked post-game from the Coliseum to the Staples Center-area and I do NOT recommend that walk at what will be about 9pm. Find a bus that will take you back that way if you need it.