Where to tailgate, eat and more while in Bloomington for MSU vs. IU
Out of the first three games No. 24 Michigan State (1-1) will have played this season, Saturday night’s game at Indiana (3-0) will be its second away from Spartan Stadium.
Which means another college campus to visit.
The Indiana Spartans alumni group is hosting a tailgate at 11 a.m. for Saturday’s game at the grass lot across the street from Memorial Stadium, vice president of the Indy Spartans Paul Quirke said Friday.
“Every year, we seem to get a good group of folks that are not just from Indy,” said Quirke, a 1989 MSU alumnus. “We have enough social media and ways to get people the information, it’s just people being interested in coming to our tailgate or joining a block and being a part of that … because Spartans travel, you saw that in Arizona. I mean 15,000 folks there.”
Quirke, who’s been attending Indy Spartan events since 2007, said the meeting spot before the tailgate is at the Steak ‘N Shake on College Ave — about a mile away from Memorial Stadium. From there, the caravan of about 25 cars will leave around 10:30 a.m. for the grass lot “to create a big tailgate space.”
Then once the caravan has arrived, the Indy Spartans will update their website and social media pages on the exact location of the tailgate, Quirke said.
“We’ll … get that exact location sent out to all of our folks that are coming or anyone that is coming in and hasn’t hooked up with us yet, so they know when they get there and they park, if they’re not able to park right with us, they know where to walk to get to the tailgate,” Quirke said.
And for the game itself, the Indy Spartans have tickets available to purchase which will keep all Spartan fans in one section of the stadium or close to that one section, Quirke said. He also said as of Sept. 13, there’s only 21 tickets or less available in MSU’s block, but more can be added to the block of tickets.
Tickets for adults are usually $70, but for MSU fans it's $50 while tickets for children under 18 are $10. Tickets can be purchased here using the code Spartans18.
“It makes it nice for those folks that want to bring their kids to the game, but doesn’t break the bank where you’re paying even $50 per ticket for a family of four, for which it would be $200,” Quirke said. “Now, it’s only for a family of four $120. So we get a nice group discount there for sure.”
Fans driving down to Bloomington will have to deal with construction, as the main route down to IU, Interstate 465 to state Route 37, is closed because of ongoing construction on the south side of Indianapolis.
“They have alternate routes that they suggest, that’s on our website as well in regards to where to go and where to get off to be able to get down there,” Quirke said. “But, it’s one of those situations where they decided to do some construction for the next 18 days on the south side there and it affects that route down to Bloomington.”
Once you get to Bloomington, Quirke said there’s a variety of places to eat, from Nick’s English Hut (Pub), The Irish Lion (Irish Pub), FarmBloomington (Restaurant) and Mother Bear’s Pizza, to Oliver Winery, Upland Brewing Co. and Cardinal Spirits. There’s even a lake — Lake Monroe — just under 14 miles south of Bloomington, Quirke said.
And while there’s plenty of food options, fans going to Bloomington are going for one reason: To watch MSU take on Indiana. Which, according to Quirke, brings out people who don’t normally attend other events such as game-watch parties.
“This is one of the things we always enjoy doing, bringing Spartans together,” Quirke said. “So whenever we play in Bloomington or West Lafayette, we always want to do something and get it out to folks so they know if that they’re coming to the Indiana area, that we’re there, we’re hosting something, we’re welcoming them to our city and want to show them a good time.”