So many times I get asked about how to get to SJ, where to stay, how to get to a game. So thought I'd put it all in one page for easy reference.
The closest airport is Minéta San Jose International (SJC). More than a dozen domestic and international carriers serve the airport. (Normal landing pattern is directly over the HP Pavilion. It's 5-10 minutes by taxi/car to get to the Tank.) Recent upgrade includes "Shark Tank" eatery complete with "ice" floor and rink markings.
Other regional airports include San Francisco International (SFO; more than three dozen domestic and international carriers) and Oakland International (OAK; eight domestic and international carriers). You'll need to rent a car or take a shuttle or public transportation to get to San Jose from either airport.
Extra-regional Rail transportation
San Jose Diridon is serviced by Amtrak and ACE
ACE can get you to/from the Tank, but as a commute-centric Central Valley connector would require an overnight stay and long afternoon to attend a weekday game, and does not operate during the weekends.
Amtrak's Coast Starlight and Capitol Corridor service stops in San Jose. (The northbound Coast Starlight train is scheduled to leave at 10:39pm, so you could take the west bound Capitol Corridor from Sacramento and return the same night, arriving very early morning, via Coast Starlight.)
HP Pavilion (aka the Shark Tank, formerly San Jose Arena)
Located at 525 W Santa Clara St (corner of Autumn), San Jose 95113
7:30pm evening games nominally have doors open at 6:15 (75 minutes before game); warmups (great to watch) start at 7pm (or 30 minutes before game). (Ushers do allow access to the glass for warmups; but you'll have to move if the ticket holder shows up for that seat.) Arena policies (on cameras, outside food, etc.) Driving directions | Parking (or city parking info)
Please note that the main parking lot (adjacent to the Tank) is for prepaid and handicapped only. Autumn street, between Santa Clara and St John streets, is closed to through traffic before and during games (from perhaps three hours before game until 45-60 minutes after game); that block is where pregame street celebrations are held. Caltrain (local rail transportation)
Check link for schedule, tickets, etc. Prices are zone based. Tickets should be purchased at ticket kiosk before boarding train.
HP Pavilion is across the parking lot from the "San Jose Diridon" station (zone 4). Last train north leaves at 10:30pm, or 15 minutes after a game, whichever is later. (If coming from Gilroy or south, overnight stay required.)
For evening games, there are a number of trains southbound, including some "express" trains.
(Note - as of 10/2010 service may be cut to eliminate evening/weekend CalTrain service; keep updated on news and check schedule) Valley Transit Authority (buses, light rail)
There usually are light rail trains and some buses waiting 10-15 minutes after games at the "San Jose Diridon" station.
Tickets for single games are available at the HP Pavilion ticket window (no fees) or Ticketmaster. (Preseason tickets go on sale about three-four weeks before games start; regular season tickets go on sale mid-September for entire season. Playoff tickets for first two games go on sale early April and usually sell out within an hour; additional seats may be released prior to and on game day; additional confirmed games go on sale usually the morning after a game is possible.)
100's are the lower deck, 200's the upper deck. 101/201 (behind benches) and 115/215 (behind penalty box) are center ice. Sections x16-x28 is the end the opponent attacks twice. Seating map (color relates to price range).
Season ticket holders can resell their tickets through the Power Play Ticket Trader (STH are forced to increase ticket price from face value 5-10%, plus there are additional transaction fees).
Fan ticket exchanges include:
There are essentially two primary areas to stay in San Jose to see the Sharks: downtown and near the airport. Many of the airport establishments can use VTA lightrail to travel to the HP Pavilion. Downtown
De Anza Hotel (visiting teams sometimes stay here)
Fairmont Hotel (visiting teams sometimes stay here)
Depends on how thick your wallet is, how far you want to walk, and what you want to eat. You probably won't be able to park near the Tank after dinner, so plan on parking once and walking to and from. (There are also numerous food options inside the Tank from Mexican to sushi.)
There area number of places around San Pedro Square (4-6 blocks from Tank) that have good/decent/excellent food, some with TVs.
I've been to Peggy Sue's (29 N San Pedro St, Ste 100; good burgers) which has TVs. (I dislike the food and layout for TV watching of the Brit, aka Britannia Arms on Santa Clara, so do not recommend it. If you're into British pub food, go for it.)
The Old Spaghetti Factory (51 N San Pedro St; may have some TVs; haven't been in years) and Sonoma Chicken Coop (31 N Market St, entrance also on San Pedro St) have good, inexpensive food, but no TVs that I recall.
And there are a few smaller in/around San Pedro square, along Santa Clara street and 1-2 streets parallel. Including Original Joe's (1st and San Carlos) -- a great Italian restaurant that many visiting players have been said to eat their pregame meal at (it's pretty popular, so you might need 2 or more hours for the wait and meal). And the hotels in the vicinity also have restaurants (2-3 at the Fairmont; but since I dropped my tickets to the SJCLO/AMTSJ more than a decade ago, I don't know the current status of eateries).
In other locations near Tank:
There's a restaurant on the ground floor of the De Anza hotel (233 W Santa Clara St,; never eaten there); don't think they have TVs. There's Henry's Hi Life (301 W Saint John St; think beer and greasy burgers) a couple of blocks from the Tank; I've never been. Amici's East Coast Pizzeria (Sharks sponsor; W Santa Clara St and Almaden) has pizza and Italian in a modern atmosphere. Zapata's (Montgomery and Julian) is behind the Tank; good Mexican food, but the wait is sometimes ridiculous.
There's a nice restaurant inside the Tank, simply called The Grill. They do have TVs (last I was there, many years before the lockout). They open circa 5:30 (event ticket required; reservations suggested) so you can have a leisurely meal before heading out to seat for game.
There's a place 1-2 blocks (toward 280) from the Tank, called Poor House Bistro (91 S Autumn St); appears to have cajun style food. I've also received recommendations for Patty's Inn (102 S Montgomery St), with decor of 1930s sports bar.
There's a strip mall on Coleman (between Taylor and 87) that has a number of fast food places; it's perhaps 1/2 mile as the crow flies, or 1 mile as the car drives, from the Tank (some with drive thru's).
Other things to do
So, if you're coming for more than just the game, and have hours to fill, here are some ideas. Mostly San Jose-centric. There are other venues/organizations in the South Bay, Peninsula that may also have things of interest. SJ Mercury newspaper entertainment section is a good start too.
Downtown San Jose events listing for other things that may be happening when you're in town.
And some other sites that might provide information for your trip: