San Jose NCAA Tournament parking

Parking and transportation information for the 2010 NCAA basketball “March Madness” Tournament in San Jose, California.

The 1st and 2nd round of March Madness comes to the HP Pavilion in San Jose this week on Thursday, March 18 and Saturday, March 20.

San Jose NCAA Tournament game start time.

Session 1: Vanderbilt vs Murray State begins at 11:30 AM; Butler vs UTEP will begin 25 minutes following the first game end, about 1:45 PM.

Session 2: Marquetts vs Washington begins at 4:30 PM. New Mexico vs Montana begins 30 minutes following (about 6:45 PM).

Saturday game times are To Be Determined.

Parking at HP Pavilion. The short is answer is “don’t.” But if you must: There is a 1,500 space parking lot directly behind the HP Pavilion that will charge you $10 to $20 to park. Don’t circle around looking for “free” parking — you won’t find any. Parking at nearby lots also charge market rates (about $10 to $20, depending on distance), but on Thursday most of these will be filled with commuters who ride the train or light rail to work. Parking will be more available on Saturday. Dropping people off in front of the HP Pavilion is prohibited; everybody will need to walk some distance so wear comfortable shoes.

Public Transportation – easy and fast.

Well, mostly fast, and it will certainly be faster than driving on Thursday.

HP Pavilion is located directly across the street from Diridon Station, the major transit hub for downtown San Jose. Caltrain (serving Santa Clara County and San Francisco peninsula from Gilroy to San Francisco); VTA light rail and buses; ACE (commuter rail serving San Jose, Livermore, Pleasanton, Tracy, Stockton); and Amtrak Capital Corridor (commuter rail serving San Jose, Santa Clara, Fremont, Oakland, Berkeley, Sacramento) all dump into Diridon Station. Avoid parking fees, congestion, and frustration by taking transit.

VTA Light Rail Winchester-Mountain View line stops at Diridon Station directly across from HP Pavilion. The Tasman-Santa Teresa light rail line stops roughly 8 blocks away. If you ride the Tasman-Santa Teresa line, get off at the Santa Clara stop. Walk up to Santa Clara Street (if you reach the end of the block and hit San Fernando, you went the wrong way so turn around and walk to the other block), turn left, and follow the crowds walking on the sidewalk to the HP Pavilion. If you’re staying at a hotel in the San Jose area, you’re possibly within walking distance of a light rail station. Ask the concierge (or leave a comment below).

Downtown San Jose has pedicab service if you don’t want to walk, though finding them might be a challenge. Please tip the rickshaw operators well. If you get lost, just ask somebody how to get to the HP Pavilion.

Downtown San Jose is safe so you don’t need to freak out about wandering lost around the city. If you see a guy on a bike shooting your photo Thursday evening, that very well might be me. Wave and say hello.

Biking to the games.

This is a cycling website, so of course you can bike to the HP Pavilion. There are no bike lanes on Santa Clara Street, but the lanes are mostly wide enough for sharing — obey the traffic rules, watch where you’re going and you should be fine. Traffic can be very heavy on Santa Clara Street, especially at evening rush hour on event nights, so watch for turning traffic (nobody knows how to signal) and sudden stops. If you filter between the right lane and parallel parking, be very wary.

Bike parking is limited and you may need to lock your bike to a post somewhere. Use a high quality lock and be sure your bike is properly locked. Watch the video here for helpful bike locking tips.

Have fun and enjoy the games! If you have questions about using transit or directions, please feel free to leave a comment below and I’ll try to help.


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