Texas vs. Oklahoma State • Boone Pickens Stadium • Stillwater, OK • October 31, 2009
(Repost from the Travel Tips article in The Eyes of Texas Preview Guide along with some UPDATES)
Overview: With a generous donation from super booster T. Boone Pickens, Oklahoma State recently renovated their stadium making OSU a lot more attractive to potential big name recruits. That coupled with a new do-whatever-it-takes-to-win attitude instilled in the team by fiery Head Coach Mike Gundy has made Stillwater a much more imposing place to play. And with several key players returning for OSU this season, Cowboys players and fans alike will be chomping at the bit to avenge several heartbreaking losses to the Longhorns in recent years.
UPDATE: Most UT fans had this game circled well before the season started. A lot has happened since then to make this one of the most unpredictable seasons in Big XII history, but the TX/OSU game still looms large and at this point, looks to be the de facto Big XII Championship.
Travel tips after the jump...
Transportation: Stillwater is located 65 miles northeast of Oklahoma City and 71 miles due west of Tulsa. It takes just over an hour to drive there from the airports in either city. Driving conditions in Oklahoma are pretty leisurely, so even fans coming in from places as far away as Dallas shouldn't hesitate to make the drive.
Lodging: Hotel options in Stillwater are extremely limited and with the majority of fans attending the game from both schools requiring accommodations, making reservations far in advance isn't just recommended, it's required. If there are no vacancies, staying in Guthrie or Edmond (just north of OKC) is a good alternative.
UPDATE: Hotels in Stillwater have been booked solid for this Saturday night for quite a while now. However, I do have a friend who recently booked a room in Guthrie about two weeks ago. If you're still looking, there may be some vacancies in some hotels on the north side of OKC (about an hour and half from Stillwater depending on traffic).
Restaurants/Bars: Even people who have never been to Stillwater know of Eskimo Joe's because of the iconic T-shirts sold there featuring a smiling Eskimo and his smiling husky. The "Jumpin' Little Juke Joint" is a sports bar of the highest order and easily the most popular place to be in Stillwater on Saturdays in the fall. It fills up fast, so get there early and order Joe's famous cheese fries. The pizza at Hideaway around the corner is quite good too.
As for post-game bars, there are a slew of them over on Washington Street, also known as "the strip," located just south of campus.
Eskimo Joe's, 501 W. Elm Avenue, 405-372-8896
Hideaway (Pizza), 230 S. Knoblock Street, 405-372-477
Shortcakes (All-Night Diner), 219 N. Main Street, 405-624-1057
Dirty Dog Tavern, 421 S. Washington Street, 405-385-0244
Murphy's Bar, 306 S. Washington Street, 405-743-2983
Tailgating: Parking near the stadium is limited, especially for the general public, so most fans park in the adjacent neighborhoods and congregate in the makeshift beer gardens located in the parking areas of local establishments located near Eskimo Joe's on Elm Street prior to kick-off. The best tailgating can be found in the "OSU Posse Lot," located just south of the stadium.
Tickets: Securing tickets before arrival through online auction sites or even a 3rd party ticket source like Stubhub is recommended due to the high demand for this game.
Gameday Traditions: Oklahoma State has a couple of mascots, one being "Pistol Pete," whose name and likeness are modeled after Deputy US Marshal Frank Eaton, a late 1800's gunslinger who became famous for tracking down and shooting the perpetrators who murdered his father. The other mascot is Bullet, a black horse that sprints onto the field before the game and after every OSU touchdown. Lastly, after the OSU offense makes a first down, visitors to Pickens Stadium will be hard-pressed not to notice the very audible Public Address announcer exclaiming, "And that's another Cowboy," and prompting the crowd to scream, "First Down!"
Local Attractions: For the avid golfer, there are several public and private golf courses of note in the area including 5-Star Karsten Creek, home of the 10-tiime National Champion OSU Golf Team.