Toyota Center Event Guide – Rockets Game Day

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The Toyota Center gives you a great view from any point in the arena.

With basketball season beginning to take form, I figured I would touch on one of the hottest teams in the NBA; the Houston Rockets. Though we all saw Dwight Howard’s impact do nothing for the Lakers last year, Houston fans seem to all be on board with his addition to a Rockets team that is starting to look like the real deal. As the Rockets begin to bring Houston back in to playoff relevance the Toyota Center begins to reach capacity more and more these days which makes it a great topic of discussion.

Let’s start with pre-game. Unbeknownst to many Houston Texans fans, tailgating is primarily a football tradition leaving the parking lot at the Toyota Center to be just that. Instead Rockets fans are usually scouring the streets and bars near the Toyota Center in preparation of tip off. The B.U.S. is a fairly close sports bar that always seems to bring in the crowd before and after games. The B.U.S. is a moderately priced bar but is a great spot to start a Rockets or Astros game. The atmosphere is pretty laid back and calm though things can get pretty crazy when the Mavericks or Spurs come to town. If you are looking for something a little more upscale you’ve got The Grove, III Forks, and Vic & Anthony’s Steakhouse all within less than a mile of the Toyota Center.

One thing that helps the Toyota Center remain a top NBA Venue is the parking. There is a huge garage that is actually connected to the Toyota Center allowing for easy entrance and exit. Even if you miss out on the 2,500 space garage the streets are littered with more than 10,000 other spots well within walking distance to the game. If you are coming from out of town, enjoy an easy walk from any of the numerous hotels surrounding the Toyota Center. The Embassy Suites, Hilton, Four Seasons, and Holiday Inn Express are all within a block of the Toyota Center making them prime spots for your stay in Houston for a Rockets game.

The Toyota Center is up there with the biggest of NBA Venues and can hold over 18,000 basketball fans. Like most basketball arena’s the Toyota Center has an all-around great view of the court. If you’re looking to get up close and personal with the players I would recommend getting in the lower arena level where you feel like you’re on the court and get a feel for just how massive the players are. Depending on the game and section this area will usually run you anywhere from $60 to a couple hundred but guaranteed to be money well spent. Once you get up into the upper level sections your view will be hindered slightly but far from a bad seat (remember these guys are huge). The good news is you won’t pay nearly as much. Rarely will you not be able to get into one of these sections for less than $100 a seat. There are some club sections in the upper level and those will run at a little bit of a higher rate, but grabbing ticket in the 400’s of the Toyota Center is a great way to catch the Rockets play for cheap.

Some of the biggest games this season at the Toyota Center will be when the Dallas Mavericks come to H-town on December 23 and the San Antonio Spurs in January and April. The Rockets have been making moves all year in preparation for this season and it’s looking to be a special year for Houston’s basketball scene.

Bowl Projections Aggregated

TicketCity CBS Sports
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ESPN
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SI
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SB Nation
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 National Championship Alabama vs. FSU Alabama vs. FSU Alabama vs. FSU Alabama vs. FSU
Orange Bowl Clemson vs. Wisconsin  Clemson vs. Wisconsin  Clemson vs.  Wisconsin Clemson vs.  Wisconsin
Sugar Bowl Auburn vs. UCF Auburn vs. UCF Auburn vs. UCF Auburn vs. Fresno St.
Fiesta Bowl OK State vs. Fresno State  OK State vs. Fresno State OK State vs. N. Illinois OK State vs. UCF
Rose Bowl Ohio State vs. Stanford  Ohio State vs. Stanford  Ohio State vs.  Stanford Ohio State vs.  Stanford
 GoDaddy.com Bowl N. Illinois vs. W. Kentucky  N. Illinois vs. W. Kentucky  Bowling Green vs. Ark. St. Bowling Green vs. W. Kentucky
 BBVA Compass Bowl Vanderbilt vs. Cincinnati
Troy vs. East Carolina Marshall vs. C. Michigan  Ark. St. vs. Rutgers
 Cotton Bowl Baylor vs. LSU  Baylor vs. LSU Baylor vs. LSU Baylor vs. Texas A&M
 Outback Bowl  Nebraska vs. S. Carolina Nebraska vs. Missouri Nebraska vs. Missouri Nebraska vs. LSU
 Capital One Bowl  Michigan St vs. Texas A&M Michigan St. vs. S. Carolina Michigan St vs. Texas A&M Michigan St. vs. Missouri
 Heart of Dallas Bowl  Maryland vs. Rice  Oregon St. vs. North Texas Oregon St. vs. North Texas Maryland vs. Rice
 Gator Bowl Michigan vs. Ole Miss Minnesota vs. Georgia Iowa vs. Ole Miss Minnesota vs. Ole Miss
 Chick-fil-A Bowl Duke vs. Missouri Miami vs. Texas A&M Duke vs. S. Carolina Duke vs. S. Carolina
 Liberty Bowl Marshall vs. Pitt Houston vs. Vanderbilt Houston vs. Vanderbilt E. Carolina vs. Vanderbilt
 Sun Bowl Va. Tech vs. UCLA Duke vs. Arizona State Va. Tech vs. UCLA  Va. Tech vs. USC
 Independence Bowl Oregon St. vs. Ga. Tech  Boston College vs. Ark St. Ga. Tech vs. Arizona Oregon St. vs. Ga. Tech 
 Holiday Bowl Arizona St. vs. Tex. Tech  K-State vs. Oregon Arizona St. vs. Texas Arizona St. vs. K-State
 Alamo Bowl Oklahoma vs. Oregon Oklahoma vs. USC Oklahoma vs. Oregon Oklahoma vs. Oregon
 Music City Bowl Boston College vs. Georgia  Georgia Tech vs. Ole Miss Boston College vs. Georgia  Pitt vs. Georgia
 Armed Forces Bowl  Boise State vs. Navy Navy vs. Colorado State Boise State vs. Navy SDSU vs. Navy
 Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl Texas vs. Iowa Texas vs. Iowa Texas vs. Michigan Texas vs. Iowa
 Russell Athletic Bowl Louisville vs. Miami Louisville vs. Va. Tech Louisville vs. Miami Louisville vs. Boston Col.
 Belk Bowl Houston vs. North Carolina Cincy vs. North Carolina Cincy vs. North Carolina  Cincy vs. Miami
 Pinstripe Bowl  Notre Dame vs. Rutgers Notre Dame vs. Rutgers  Notre Dame vs. Rutgers  Notre Dame vs. Houston
 Fight Hunger Bowl  Washington vs. BYU Washington vs. BYU Washington vs. BYU Washington vs. BYU
 Texas Bowl Kansas St. vs. Minnesota Michigan vs. Texas Tech Kansas St. vs. Minnesota Michigan vs. Texas Tech  
 Military Bowl Syracuse vs. North Texas  Marshall vs. Maryland Maryland vs. Middle Tenn. N. Carolina vs. Midd. Tenn.
 Poinsettia Bowl SDSU vs. Buffalo   SDSU vs. Bowling Green SDSU vs. Ohio  Boise St. vs. Ball State
 Little Caesars Bowl Ball State vs. Wash. St
Ball State vs. Pitt Ball State vs. Pitt N. Illinois vs. Wash. St
 Hawaii Bowl  UNLV vs. Middle Tenn. UNLV vs. Middle Tenn. Colorado St. vs. Rice  UNLV vs. Marshall
 Beef O Bradys Bowl Toledo vs. East Carolina
Toledo vs. Rice Toledo vs. East Carolina  Toledo vs. North Texas
 New Orleans Bowl La-Lafayette vs. Tulane La-Lafayette vs. Tulane La-Lafayette vs. Tulane  La-Lafayette vs. Tulane
 Idaho Potato Bowl Bowling Green vs. Ark. St.  Buffalo vs. Wash. State UNLV vs. Buffalo Troy vs. Buffalo
 Las Vegas Bowl  Utah State vs. USC Utah State vs. UCLA Fresno State vs. USC Utah State vs. UCLA
 New Mexico Bowl  Colorado St. vs. Arizona Boise State vs. Arizona Utah St. vs. Wash St. Colorado St. vs. Arizona

We put together the bowl projections from ESPN, SI, CBS and SB Nation so everyone could have an idea of what the general consensus is so far. Lots of agreeing in the BCS games, no so much elsewhere. Personally, I think a Baylor-LSU in the Cotton Bowl and Michigan State-Texas A&M in the Capital One Bowl would both be pretty great. Lots of interesting possibilities.

TicketCity NFL Pick Em! Week 11

TicketCity Ryan
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Randy
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Matt
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Brandon
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Falcons vs. Bucs Falcons -1 Falcons -1 Falcons -1 Falcons -1
Jets vs. Bills Bills – 1 Bills – 1 Jets +1 Jets +1
Lions vs. Steelers Steelers +3 Steelers +3 Lions – 3 Lions – 3
Redskins vs. Eagles Eagles -4.5 Redskins +4.5 Eagles -4.5 Eagles -4.5
Ravens vs. Bears Bears +3 Bears +3 Bears +3 Bears +3
Browns vs. Bengals Browns +6 Bengals -6 Bengals -6 Bengals -6
Raiders vs. Texans Raiders +7 Texans -7 Raiders +7 Texans -7
Cardinals vs. Jaguars Jaguars +8 Cardinals -8 Cardinals -8 Cardinals -8
Chargers vs. Dolphins Chargers -1.5 Dolphins +1.5 Chargers -1.5 Chargers -1.5
Packers vs. Giants Giants -6 Giants -6 Giants -6 Giants -6
Vikings vs. Seahawks Seahawks -13 Seahawks -13 Seahawks -13 Seahawks -13
49ers vs. Saints Saints -3 49ers +3 Saints -3 49ers -3
Chiefs vs. Broncos Chiefs +8 Chiefs +8 Chiefs +8 Broncos -8
Patriots vs. Panthers Panthers -1 Patriots +1 Panthers -1 Patriots +1

Three way tie for 1st place between Ryan, Randy and Matt with 7 correct picks each. It’s actually a pretty good score considering two games ended up at PUSH (Ravens vs. Bears, 49ers vs. Saints). At this point in the season, 4 people are tied for the overall lead with 66 points each, including three of the above players. It’ll get even closer as teams no longer have byes at the end of the season — still anyone’s game.

Game of the Week: Auburn vs. Georgia

TicketCity’s weekly ranking of the 10 hottest games in college football  is designed to identify the match-ups with the strongest ticket demand on a weekly basis. This week LSU vs. Alabama ranks #1 on our list. Contributor Jeff K. gives the run-down on who will win this stage-setting match-up.

 

Why Auburn will win the biggest game of the week:

What a difference a season can make. Last year Auburn struggled through a 3-9 season. The Tigers went winless in SEC play. Fast forward to 2013 and Auburn is just two wins from playing for the SEC Championship. Head coach Guz Malzhan has brought a new attitude to Auburn.

One of the reasons for Auburn’s resurgence is the running game. The Tigers average 320 yards per game, third in the country. Runningback Tre Mason has scored seven touchdowns in Auburn’s last two games. Quarterback Nick Marshall, a Georgia transfer, rushed for 214 yards and two scores last week against Tennessee. Georgia ranks 31st in the country in run defense, giving up 138 yards per game.  If Auburn can run the ball, and keep Georgia’s offense off the field, the Tigers should go into the season finale against Alabama with a shot at winning the SEC West.

Why I could be wrong:

Georgia has battled injuries throughout the season. The Bulldogs have been missing key playmakers on offense. Keith Marshall and Justin Scott-Wesley were lost for the season in the Tennessee game. Runningback Todd Gurley has missed three games. Wide receivers Chris Conley and Michael Bennett have missed multiple games. Despite all of the injuries, Georgia has kept fighting. Quarterback Aaron Murray has been the constant in the lineup. Murray set the record for career touchdown passes in the SEC during Georgia’s win over Appalachian State last week. Murray should get Conley and tight end Arthur Lynch back for the Auburn game. With some of his injured weapons returning, Murray gives Georgia a chance on Saturday. Auburn’s pass defense has been suspect, ranking 91st  in the country while giving up 252 yards passing per game.

Why you don’t want to miss this one:

Auburn can’t look past Georgia towards the upcoming Iron Bowl. The wounded Bulldogs still have fight left in them. Georgia has dominated this series, winning six out of the last seven meetings. They would love to spoil Auburn’s magical run this season.

Jeff Kubiszyn is a long-time college football fan and joins TicketCity this season to highlight the biggest game of the week. He is by no means a college football expert, except at the dinner table.

The Other Lead – Your Sports Weekend in GIFs, Pics and Video

Starting on Saturday in Lexington, Mizzou‘s Dorial Green-Beckham decided he wanted to win the game all by his lonesome, and he pretty much did just that. The wideout caught seven passes for 100 yards and FOUR touchdowns. The TDs weren’t boring either, here’s one where the cornerback pretty much became non-existent:

 

Later that night, the big Alabama-LSU game was what everyone had their eyes on, and it was close and rowdy early on. While Alabama went on to beat up on the Tigers in the second half, this LSU fan had fun doing his dinosaur impression after a touchdown. GEAUX T-REX, GEAUX:

 

In the NFL, there’s no doubt what the play off the week was. Whether it’s bad defense, blind luck, or just divine intervention, this A.J. Green touchdown on a hail mary as time expired was amazing:

 

This is a Jaguars player celebrating. The Jaguars won. The end.