UAA | Sam Wasson

Great Alaska Shootout

In Anchorage, basketball rules Thanksgiving week with the Great Alaska Shootout. Top collegiate teams show their prowess on the court over the holiday long weekend. The tournament runs Nov. 22-26, 2016. The Portland Pilots travel north for their first trip to the Shootout, now in its 39th year.

The Pilots arrive in Anchorage just before the tournament, arriving midday on Nov. 21. Their first game of the tournament tips off at 7:30 p.m. the next day against hosts UAA. The women’s field also includes Missouri State and USC.

The Pilots also bring an Alaskan home with their shootout appearance: former Fairbanks/West Valley standout Hannah Mattson.

Buffalo, Oakland, Nevada, UC Davis, Weber State, Iona and Drake join UAA in the men's bracket. The field includes five NCAA Tournament qualifying teams from last season and two other postseason performers.

A tradition in Anchorage, the annual tournament takes place at the Alaska Airlines Center. Purchase ticket packages and find tournament information at www.goseawolves.com/shootout. Single game tickets are on sale in November.

Shootout Airfare Deal

Receive a discount of up to a 10 percent on tickets from any city Alaska Airlines serves in the contiguous United States or Alaska when you travel to Shootout. Enter discount code ECMA263 for travel to Anchorage Nov. 20-25, and departing Anchorage Nov. 21, or 24-28, 2016. Enter the discount code in the flight search window, and the discount will be applied to all qualifying flights. Buy your ticket today.

Tournament Hotel Deals

The Sheraton Anchorage Hotel is offering a special rate of $95 (plus bed tax) for the nights of Nov. 20-26. Reference Great Alaska Shootout when booking.

The Anchorage Marriott Downtown Great Alaska Shootout rate is $119.

Off-Court Activities

In between games, there is plenty to see and do in Anchorage. November is an excellent time for northern lights viewing in Anchorage. The long weekend is typically the season opener for skiing at Alyeska Resort. Learn dog mushing firsthand, rent a fat tire bike, hop on a beer tour or check out this season’s exhibits at the Anchorage Museum.

Thanksgiving in Anchorage

Thanksgiving week is filled with events. The annual tree lighting ceremony takes place Friday evening in Town Square Park. Santa will be there along with his real live reindeer team. Shuttle service links tree lighting ceremony with the evening games on Friday. 

From ball games to ballet: the annual performance of "The Nutcracker" will entertain kids of all ages. Fall in love with the costumes and choreography, it runs Friday through Sunday overlapping the tournament.

While in town don’t miss out on unique shopping activities. Find the perfect gift at the Anchorage Museum’s Crafts Weekend. The museum carefully selects every artist so shoppers will be guaranteed authentic, handcrafted works. Anchorage also has the state's best tax-free shopping, with locally owned shops and popular national retailers splitting retail space.