Traveling to UConn

Submitted by MAgoBLUE on September 16th, 2013 at 12:20 PM

Who's coming to Connecticut this weekend for the 8pm prime time showdown with the Huskies?  I just bought my tickets so I am pretty excited.  As my user name suggests I am from Massachusetts but I've also lived in the great state of Connecticut for 8 of my 30 years.  Therefore, I'd like to impart some of my wisdom for visitors:


- Rentschler Field is in East Hartford about a half hour west of UConn's campus in Storrs.  Don't show up to Storrs looking for the football game.  They won't be able to help you.

-  Liquor stores in CT close early and often.  Back in the day it was 8 pm but I think they've extended that to 10 or 11 depending on the town/store.  Bring a couple forms of ID.  I've seen an Army veteran denied service because he didn't have a backup for his military ID.

-  The Basketball Hall of Fame is a 20 minute ride up I-91 in Springfield, MA.  Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun casinos are each about 45 minutes from the Rent.

-  I don't recommend spending too much time in Hartford proper but City Steam is an excellent brew pub.  New Haven and in particular the area around Yale is a better bet for bars and restaurants.  It's about 30 minutes south of Hartford.

-  There's a weird quirk in the state that I call The Connecticut Lip.  Basically all parking lots are raised slightly above the level of the street creating a lip of concrete.  It acts as a sort of a speedbump.  See if you notice it.

-  I've only been to the Rent once and that was for lacrosse.  It's easy to find off of I-84 but it's small and parking was disorganized even for a crowd that was much less than capacity.  The upside?  They are off-campus so they can serve beer.

-  Of course no discussion of CT Football would be complete without the obligatory column from the Westport Patch.  The Nutmegger's guide to a "Southern Tailgator":


See you at the Rent.  I'll be the tailgate with the "freshly fallen leaves scattered about, pine cones, and twigs."  You''ll have all day to come say hi.  Go Blue!



September 16th, 2013 at 12:34 PM ^

Ill be there. I'm taking a bus up with the NYC alumni club and we are supposed to get in 3 hrs before the game.

Also the southern tailgater article is one of the all time Internet treasures.


September 16th, 2013 at 12:34 PM ^

I used to live in New England for a while, and my brother lived in CT up til quite recently, so let me add this:  Anyone flying to the game, use the Hartford airport if you can.  Delta has decently priced nonstop flights.  Thinking you will fly to LGA or somewhere in NYC and then driving up is asking for traffic nightmares, especially in New Haven where there is a massive construction project.  I-95 sucks donkey balls.



September 16th, 2013 at 1:46 PM ^

Absolutely avoid 95 at all costs. Unfortunately, from Newark, you pretty much have to deal with the Cross-Bronx, which is the worst of it. 

Apart from the Merrit, the other option from the city is to take 684 north to 84, which is about 5 miles longer than the Merritt but has higher speeds and generally avoids the potential messes that arise on 95. From the city it's the whitestone to the hutchinson to 684.

Jeffy Fresh

September 16th, 2013 at 3:16 PM ^

I have to disagree about the slightly slower speeds.  The Merritt has a bunch of hills, but there is one cop assigned to it per county.  You can go pretty much as fast as you want.  I have lived here for most of my life, and never got pulled over on the Merritt despite a very heavy foot.  It is the Hutchinson parkway in new york, then runs into the Merritt.


September 16th, 2013 at 7:35 PM ^

I would caution people to be careful about the Merritt in the sense that it isn't always that fast either.  My wife and I were stuck on it for hours during pretty regular weekend traffic because there was an accident miles ahead and, being that it is 2 lanes, not much in the way of getting around.  

But yeah, 95 is the devil whenever we've taken it.


September 16th, 2013 at 12:38 PM ^

Tickets are still over $100 online. I can't imagine it'd be tough getting something cheaper at the stadium but then again I don't know what the scalper scene is like around there.

Any idea form locals or people near by?


September 16th, 2013 at 12:48 PM ^

I've been watching the prices closely on Stubhub all summer.  The cheapest ones were at $130 and came down to $70 after UConn lost to Towson.  They seem to be climbing back up slowly now.


I don't know how much of a scalper scene there will be because the stadium is right off the highway but it isn't near anything.  It's almost like if you put all the effort in to get there you might as well just go to the game.  It is UConn's biggest home game ever and the 8 pm kick off might entice people to keep their tickets.


September 16th, 2013 at 1:05 PM ^

thanks for the info. I have been watching too. I'm leaving from NYC so its a train ride for me (not much$) also have a free place to stay (fiancee has friends in CT). So I don't lose a whole lot by going and not getting cheap tix (just time).


I guess I'm just suprised how much the tickets are. Its $100+ now for endzone seats so not even that good of tix. I expected a lot of UM fans but figured UConn fans would be unloading like crazy take some cash for bball tix or something. I know the 8pm time prob doesn't help things either, more Uconn fans prob want to experience a night game.



September 16th, 2013 at 1:15 PM ^

UConn has a fair amount of night games so that part isn't unusual.  Also there are only around 40K seats so don't expect prices to fall too low - there should be sufficient demand to hold them up, especially for this game

I live in CT, have been there and know people with season tickets.  Most of them go to every game regardless of how the team is doing.  The stadium is actually pretty nice.


September 16th, 2013 at 12:50 PM ^

I'll be driving up from the 'tail' of CT (Greenwich/Stamford area) and will likely take the Merrit to New Haven, rather than 95. I recommend anyone else do the same :)

I looked at the satellite view on google maps and it sure looks like tons of parking around the stadium. Is that the only/best place to tailgate?


September 16th, 2013 at 12:59 PM ^

I live 8 miles from Rentschler field. I agree with most of the suggestions. I would not advise anyone to go visit New Haven. Lots of great places to eat in the West Hartford area. The parking at the stadium is disorganized but they are able to accomidate all comers.

I have lived here going on seven years and have never notices the lip you speak of.


September 16th, 2013 at 1:02 PM ^

Also do yourself a favor and not miss your exit on the mass pike or I 90.

If u do good luck as your looking at an hour added onto your trip. Feels like next exit is another 30 min away.


September 16th, 2013 at 1:04 PM ^

Just double checking logistics. There's a lot on their website about parking passes, but they also have a section for gameday parking without passes. I assume most of you lot will be parking or tailgating in this area here?

They specifically said no cameras with lenses >90mm. So ANY DSLR (ie 5dmkii) as long as the lens is <90mm is acceptable? I tried calling to ask but spent forever in their maze of automated telephone assistance. 


September 16th, 2013 at 1:04 PM ^

Anyone from Ann Arbor going to the game and making a side trip to The Alchemist? I am in dire need of some Heady Topper and will trade some nice beers if you can get me a couple 4 packs.


September 16th, 2013 at 1:06 PM ^

Bitterly disappointed about the 8:00 PM kick. Bringing my 5 year old to his first game and expect he will be melting by the end, then the 3 hours back to NYC, etc. I appreciate and have been looking forward to this since the home and home was announced, because it makes it closer for NYC area alumni like me, but it reeeeaaaalllly sucks. 


September 16th, 2013 at 1:35 PM ^

I will be driving to Wocester from NYC after work Friday, then heading to the Rent in the afternoon on Saturday. My main concern right now is parking.

Can anyone advise on where i can find the least expensive parking place(walkable distance from the stadium)? I would prefer free parking instead of paying $20-50. Thanks in advance!


September 16th, 2013 at 1:45 PM ^

At the Maryland game Saturday night there was ample on site parking for $15. I assume the same will be true for this game. One thing about parking pay close attention to land marks around your car. The lots are poorly marked and not at all in some places. I saw many people, young and old, looking aimlessly for their cars. On my way to my car one young man was entering his vehicle and said to me, I FOUND MY CAR, he still had the look of a lost pupppy on his face.


September 16th, 2013 at 2:23 PM ^

That is too late for me.  Want to be tailgating early hours of the afternoon.  Suggestions for private lots that can accomodate early arrivals for our group?


September 16th, 2013 at 2:23 PM ^

Or there abouts. EHHS grad anyway. I'll be going. I haven't been to a UConn game in 3 years, but there's a few good tailgate spots. First off, there's in the stadium. There are different lots, and one extends down what used to be an air strip. That's where a lot of the students end up. There's also a big field across the street that was 15 or 20 bucks last time I was there. Past that, there are a few different places that are small and are hit or miss. I really like this dental clinic but it only has like 20 spots. Usually meet cool people there. 

One more thing about tickets. Uconn athletic dep. put out single game Michigan tickets last week. I have no idea if there are any left, but it was SIGNIFICANTLY cheaper than stubhub. If anyone is still on the fence, might look there first.

For things to do in the area, West Hartford has been mentioned. I'll also second the basketball hall of fame. Great time. Go blue! Beat UConn. Don't throw pick sixes. 


September 16th, 2013 at 2:24 PM ^

Liquor store close at 9 pm now. I've never seen someone get denied at a respectable establishment for having an out of state ID.


Someone said it above but I also agree that you shouldn't go to New Haven, it's closer to 40 mins away and you can either head to West Hartford Center or you can stay in Hartford on Allyn and Ann St near the XL Center.


Also, remember to read up on the greats from UConn teams past