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The Frank Erwin Center - The Hurricanes' Home Away From Home For the Opening Rounds of the NCAA Tournament

Get to know the digs where the Hurricanes will play Pacific and Illinois or Colorado before they advance to the Sweet 16. Also: Meet me for happy hour!

Coach Jim Larranaga's Noble Steed Awaits.
Coach Jim Larranaga's Noble Steed Awaits.

So, you've got your tickets, your boarding passes, and your handy guide of where the cool people go in Austin. You're ready to roll, right? Nope. You need some info on the arena that the Hurricanes will call home this weekend.

The Frank Erwin Center

Every arena needs a name, and no, it's not as cool as the Bank United Center, because, honestly, what's cooler than being named after a bank that was taken over by the FDIC and sold a few years ago under a major cloud? Probably a lot of things, but you don't get much more Miami than that.

But Frank Erwin was a UT Board of Regents Member and the building was renamed from the classy Special Events Center to honor him.

So Where Is It?

The address is 1701 Red River St., but who cares about an address? It's right on the Southeast corner of the UT campus, so by taking a small walk, you can be wandering around the University of Texas. Nice campus. Take a walk around it after eating all that BBQ.

The arena itself is pretty big and spans from 19th to 15th streets.

I Rented a Car, Can I Park?

Yes. But don't. Here's the very clear and in no way confusing parking map. I'd suggest that, if you're staying downtown (and you ARE staying downtown someplace, right?) take a cab. A cab both ways will be cheaper than parking and you won't have to deal with the hassle. Or you can walk. The weather will be beautiful.

How Many of My Closest Friends Will I Be Hanging Out With?

If it's a sellout - 16755. But it's doubtful it will be filled the entire time. Need to know where your seat is? Check here. I'll be in Section 29, so wander over and talk to random people until you find me. I'll be wearing green. And I have a beard. Knock yourself out.

I'm Going To Be Hungry Because I Ignored Your Recommendations, What Should I Eat There?

Nothing. It's overpriced arena food, and most of it is chains. If you want a snack, head to Sections 23 or 32 and grab some Amy's Ice Cream. It's made locally and it's great. Want chicken fingers? Try Bush's in Section 39 (it's not that Bush.) But really, just eat some ice cream.

I'm Sorry I Ignored Your Recommendations, How Can I Make it Up to You?

You can head over to Serranos on 11th and Red River, just 2 blocks from the south side of the arena. We've (meaning my wife) snagged the patio starting at 11 am for anyone who wants to hang out until we leave for the game. Then, when it's over, they're giving it to us again. You know what else is cool? Happy hour prices the entire time.

You're Awesome. Can I Buy You a Beer?

Yes. And queso too if you're feeling generous.