Rock M Nation,
No doubt you'd rather give Truman a cat bath than do a solid for a Longhorn, but you guys were instrumental in helping me with a travel tips column I wrote a few years ago and I would be much appreciative if you'd read the tips below and suggest changes and updates for Longhorns visit to Columbia next November.
Thanks in advance,
PS. I doubt the Longhorns are playing during Mizzou's Homecoming this time around, so that'll have to change.
Texas vs. Missouri • Faurot Field • Columbia, MO • November 12, 2011
Overview: Galvanized by success under Gary Pinkel and several strong recruiting classes, Tigers fans have rekindled their passion for football, and chances are good that both game tickets and hotel vacancies will be equally scarce on Saturdays in Columbia this fall, especially when the Longhorns come to town during Missouri's hallowed Homecoming Weekend.
Transportation: Columbia is located on I-70, right in the middle of Missouri, about a two hour drive from Lambert-St. Louis International Airport, and around 2.5 hours from Kansas City's MCI airport. There is a shuttle service called MoEx (moexpress.com) from both airports to the campus area, but renting a car and driving in is optimal, as a car will be helpful for getting around to all the events of the weekend.
Lodging: Faurot Field is located about a mile south of I-70 at the intersection of Stadium Blvd. and Providence Road. There are several lodging options in close proximity to the stadium and the hotels near the intersection of I-70 and Hwy 63 are relatively new. If there are no vacancies in Columbia, Jefferson City is a good alternative.
Stoney Creek Inn, 2601 S. Providence Road, 573-442-6400
Hampton Inn & Suites, 1225 Fellow's Place, 573-214-2222
Courtyard by Marriott, 3301 Lemone Industrial Blvd., 573-443-8000
Restaurants/Bars: Just north of campus is an expansive shopping and dining area of town called The District featuring a host of locally owned and operated restaurants, brew pubs, and bistros.
Shakespeare's Pizza, 225 S. 9th Street, 573-449-2454
Booches Billiard Hall (Burgers), 110 S. 9th Street, 573-874-9519
Flat Branch (Brew Pub), 115 S. 5th Street, 573-499-0400
Heidelberg, 410 S. 9th Street, 573-449-6927
Harpo's Bar, 29 S. 10th Street, 573-443-5418
McNally's Irish Pub & Grill, 7 N. 6th Street, 573-441-1284
Tailgating: Tigers fans love to pre-game party and are friendly to any and all fans not named Kansas (their fiercest rivals). Nearly all the parking lots and garages on campus permit open containers on game days and the most popular tailgating spots are in the lots just south and east of the stadium near the Hearnes Center. Most of the students tailgate south of the stadium along Providence Street. Harpo's Bar is definitely the place to be before the game, and locals recommend stopping by Tropical Liqueurs (515 E. Broadway) to order a "Tiger Paw" or one of several other delicious daiquiris on your way to the tailgate.
Tickets: Memorial Stadium/Faurot Field can accommodate up to 70,000 and the grassy hill beyond the north end zone features open seating. If tickets can't be secured through Missouri's ticket office (800-228-7297, mutigers.cstv.com), try purchasing them at online auction sites or on the day of the game. Scalping is legal near the stadium and scalpers can be found in the tunnel under Stadium Blvd. that connects the Jones Dorm parking lot with the entrance to Faurot Field.
Gameday Traditions: The Big "M" comprised of whitewashed rocks on the hill beyond the north end zone was originally erected before the 1927 homecoming game as a stunt. The school's nickname was inspired by a group of vigilantes, also called the Missouri Tigers, who banded together to protect the town of Columbia from plundering guerilla bands during the Civil War era. And Mizzou's mascot, Truman the Tiger, was named after President Harry S. Truman, who grew up in Missouri.
Local Attractions: As mentioned in the overview, please note that this will be Missouri's Homecoming Weekend and it's especially meaningful to Tigers fans because the concept of a "homecoming game" actually originated at Mizzou in 1911. On Friday evening, many fans will be found walking through the cordoned-off area known as Greek Town (Providence Road and Burnham Avenue) where many of the fraternities and sororities will have created elaborate scenes in front of their houses and will perform skits for passers by in an annual event call "House Decs." The Greek community also constructs intricate floats for the Homecoming Parade on Saturday morning.