Visiting Illinois for Nebraska game

#1
We are coming in from Omaha to the Nebraska-Illini game this year. I was wondering if you guys could help me out with a few things.
First off we will be driving and getting there Friday around 4 or 5 pm.

1. Could you possibly mention some places that would be good for lodging, we would like to be close to the "Fun".
2. Tickets right now seem to be around 30-40 dollars, anyone know if that will be roughly what they are the day of the game?
3. Game day we are not looking to set up our own tailgate, can you recommend bars to hit before and after the game or other places to party and drink?

Thanks for the help!
 
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#2
The best place to stay if you want to be in the heart of the downtown Champaign nightlife (which is by far the best nightlife area in C-U) would be the Hyatt Place hotel.

If you want to stay near Memorial Stadium, the I-Hotel is the closest and the Hilton Garden Inn or Hawthorn Suites are also very close by.

When I stay in C-U, I prefer either the Eastland Suites or the Wyndam Garden in Urbana. Both are clean hotels that are reasonably priced with good food.

Pretty much anywhere you stay is a short car ride from anywhere you'd want to go in town.

Hopefully, the new Papa Del's Pizza place on south Neil street will be open for business by football season. If so, you'd be hard pressed to find a better place to eat/drink on gameday. It will be located a short walk from the stadium.
 
#3
Minneapolis, MN
1) Another good option for lodging if you want to right in the middle of Campustown "fun" would be the new Marriott TownePlace Suites on Green Street. It's scheduled to open sometime in July and is right in the middle of all the college-y bars/restaurants of Green Street.

2) $30-$40 sounds about right for what tickets should cost outside the stadium on game day. Even though I'm sure a lot of Husker fans will make the trip over, the game will not sell out, which should keep ticket prices reasonable.

3) If you don't mind being away from the stadium while tailgating, the best bars are all along or near Green Street. My favorites to visit when back in town are Legends, Murphy's, and Brothers. If you want to feel old and dirty, go to Kam's.
 
#4
Thank you!

I have heard of Kams!

It will be about 6-8 of us and we are looking to hit as many bars as we can. The bars before the game I have heard are super packed with the Greeks, right?
 
#6
Minneapolis, MN
The bars before the game I have heard are super packed with the Greeks, right?
Yes they are, and usually it stays that way through the game itself. The most popular bars with the Greeks will probably be Kam's and Red Lion. I'll also qualify this statement by saying I graduated 11 years ago, so that may have changed since then....which was back when Red Lion was called Station.
 
#8
Ok. So Green St and 5th street? And Red Lion and Kams. Is brothers just the chain bar?

We are super excited for the trip. Would it even be worth our time to walk through the tailgate spots or is it pretty spread out
 
#11
Mattoon-Charleston Area
1. I think most people have covered the hotel options pretty well.

2. Yes 30-40 is probably a fair price.

3. As for bars everyone has hit the main campus ones but I'll expand a little.
-Kams - like IlliniSox said, the typical dirty/junky college bar.
-Joes - not a bad spot.
-White Horse (6th and John) - haven't been to the new place but some of my friends still in grad school go there a lot.
-Firehaus (6th between Green and John) - nice place to get a drink with friends, has several tvs with various games on.
-Brothers (Green between Wright and 6th) - yep it's the chain bar.
-Legends (Green between 5th and 6th) and Murphys (Green and 6th) - both are good if you want a drink and a bite to eat, I spent most of my time between these two. Both are great post games spots and Legends has a projector where they play the big game of the time slot.
 
#12
Cocks Pub for the counterculture vibe, Ruby Gulch for great blues artists from Chicago, and Treno's for jazz as it is now would be my suggestions. But then I am living in the past. Just go and you will find the fun you like or it will find you.
 
#13
Thank you!

I have heard of Kams!

It will be about 6-8 of us and we are looking to hit as many bars as we can. The bars before the game I have heard are super packed with the Greeks, right?
Kams, Red Lion, and Joe's will be the most crowded bars on Saturday morning. Students get there early and usually stay until late afternoon-ish (the people that go to 'block' rarely leave for the games).
 
#15
Sort of depends on your age range. If you are still a college student (or not too many years removed from being one) then the campus bars would be your thing.

If you are 30 or older, you may want to stick with the downtown bars. Good party scene there.

One more place you may want to check out that I have found to be an excellent game day dive bar is the Tumble Inn. It's in between downtown champaign and the stadium just off of Neil St.
 
#16
You might want to check out the new Grange Grove that is being created. It's brand new, so no one really knows how well it's going to work just yet....
Sort of depends on your age range. If you are still a college student (or not too many years removed from being one) then the campus bars would be your thing.

If you are 30 or older, you may want to stick with the downtown bars. Good party scene there.

One more place you may want to check out that I have found to be an excellent game day dive bar is the Tumble Inn. It's in between downtown champaign and the stadium just off of Neil St.
What if you are well out of college, but still like to act like a college kid when you go to games?
 
#18
What if you are well out of college, but still like to act like a college kid when you go to games?


I went to Lincoln 2 years ago and really enjoyed it, although I was a bit miffed by the lack of tailgating... Illinois sets up really well to get a nice parking spot and hangout for a few hours before games, maybe with a funnel.

If you're dead set on bars though, general thoughts:


IlliniByProxy offers some good advice. Champaign has a 19 year old bar age, and the separation of Campustown and the two Downtowns means different crowds are in different areas:

If you want to pretend you're 20 again, go to Kams, FireHaus or Joe's.

If you want to pretend that you're an adult pretending that you're 20, go to Murphy's or Legends... both have food and are pretty family appropriate.

If you want to pretend you're a townie on your way to the game, go downtown to Esquire. Would recommend Blind Pig if you're into beer variety (there are two to choose from!)

I would throw in a special mention for the Illini Inn... they've been slowly ruining the place by replacing broken furniture and serving more and more drinks in glass cups, but it's on the way to the stadium and if you chug a beer you can become a member of the Mug Club... which in days past meant you would be served in a frosty mug instead of a smaller plastic cup.
 
#19
also, in general.. ticket prices are likely to be set by Nebraska fans for this one... $30-40 on the secondary market is probably the highest anyone will pay this year if they're not looking for great seats.

Getting around: there's pretty good bus service through town. the stadium is a bit isolated from other things you might do, although you can walk through most of campus to hte stadium from Green Street if you are interested in taking that route. If you can get a hotel by the stadium or downtown you should be able to get around without using a car much... if you're by the hotel you'll need to drive everywhere.

I haven't really done bars before football games, but I wouldn't expect a whole ton, especially if it turns out to be an 11 am game.
 
#20
also, in general.. ticket prices are likely to be set by Nebraska fans for this one... $30-40 on the secondary market is probably the highest anyone will pay this year if they're not looking for great seats.

Getting around: there's pretty good bus service through town. the stadium is a bit isolated from other things you might do, although you can walk through most of campus to hte stadium from Green Street if you are interested in taking that route. If you can get a hotel by the stadium or downtown you should be able to get around without using a car much... if you're by the hotel you'll need to drive everywhere.

I haven't really done bars before football games, but I wouldn't expect a whole ton, especially if it turns out to be an 11 am game.
Thanks! You think the bars could be slow before the game?

Lincolnshire tailgating is so spread out, it can be tough!
 
#21
HuskerIllini -

Enjoy your time down in Champaign. I made the trip to Lincoln the past two seasons and the Husker fans were nothing but friendly and accommodating.
 
#23
If you are older than 22 I'd avoid Kams. Firehaus is a good place to go before the game, good food and good atmosphere. Had a really nice bartender last time I was there....she was easy on the eyes. Murphy's has a good burger it's also another good place before/after the game. And the best post game place I went to was Brothers.

Next time I come back I am going to hit the downtown spots Proxy mentioned. I have some friends that rave about the Blind Pig.
 
#25
Is Kams that "collegy"?

In Lincoln even the college bars on O Street basically become just bars for fans of all ages on game day.

As mentioned before...the Greeks pack Kams, Joes, and Red Lion game day mornings. Those 3 will definitely be almost 100% "collegy". Firehaus, Legends, and Murphy's will be more of the "game day" type atmosphere you're talking about where you can eat, drink, watch college game day, etc.