March 31, 2023
By Rachel Nigh
This past week, Sports & Entertainment Travel (SET) had the opportunity to bring guests from “The Little Apple” Manhattan, Kansas, home of Kansas State University, to “The Big Apple” New York City, to cheer on the Wildcats in the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight basketball games of the NCAA Tournament. Check out SET’s go-to spots near Madison Square Garden and Times Square.
Widely known as the “Sweet 16 and Elite Eight” for the number of team participants in the games, are part of the single-elimination tournament. The tournament consists of 68 Collegiate Division I Men’s Basketball Teams. The tournament first took place in 1939 and always promises outrageous upsets.
SET attended one of the four regional semifinal rounds at Madison Square Garden located off Seventh Avenue from 31st to 33rd Streets in the heart of New York City. On Thursday, the Kansas State Wildcats pulled off a stellar performance in the Sweet 16 against the Michigan State Spartans with a winning final score of 98 to 93 in overtime. Saturday, the Wildcats fell short by only three points to the Cinderella team – the Owls of Florida Atlantic University.
Traveling with SET’s Three-night air-inclusive package allowed for our guests to have a roundtrip, non-stop charter air transportation experience from Manhattan Regional Airport (MHK) to LaGuardia Airport, (LGA) via our longtime vendor, Southwest Airlines.
In the Big Apple, there are plenty of transportation options from Ubers and taxis to the intricate NYC subway system. All guests were given a Seven Day Unlimited Metro Card, offering them easy access to the entire city. If you are looking for directions, don’t fret, the app, CityMapper, is your public transportation mapping go-to.
Fanwise, you can’t do better than the team hotel. This year the Wildcats stayed at the Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel. This hotel property is only minutes away from Times Square, Central Park, and Radio City Music Hall.
Prior to both regional games, the Kansas State Alumni Association hosted pregame celebrations at popular midtown sports bar – The Storehouse. This two-story venue was perfect for Wildcats fans to mingle and have a short walk to The Garden for the two days of regional games.
You can’t go to New York without having a slice of pizza, or four. PizzArte’s Neapolitan style pizza is to die for. In addition to fabulous cuisine, there is a rotating gallery of contemporary art displayed in the dining areas.
Need a quick bite at a unique location? Check out the secret Burger Joint for the best burger in Midtown Manhattan, located behind a red velvet curtain in the Thompson Hotel. The juicy burgers will make your mouth water at this hidden gem with walls covered in graffiti, stickers, and retro posters.
If you’re looking for award winning food with seasonal ingredients, you must try Tom Colicchio’s, Craft New York. Located on the north side of East 19th Street between Broadway and Park Avenue South, this fine dining restaurants boasts phenomenal pan-roasted diver scallops, oysters, ribeye, and gnocchi.
When you aren’t watching basketball games at The Garden, we recommend a walk/run in one of the world’s most iconic urban parks, Central Park. This location lives up to everything you see on the big screen and more.