DeMartin Stadium

26 10 2009
  • 248 Jenison Field House
  • East Lansing, MI 48824
  • (517) 353-8635
  • Website

It’s wierd.  I’ve been to DeMartin Stadium, but I’ve never blogged about it.  I was thinking that Sunday as I was standing there watching the MSU women take on the Minnesota Golden Golphers.  I don’t have a lot of experience with college soccer stadiums or soccer in general, but DeMartin seems like a nice place to play.

DeMartin Stadium sits behind Jenison Field on Michigan State University.  It’s part of the athletic complex that makes up Old College Field along with the softball and baseball diamonds.  DeMartin Stadium is barely a year old.  Before the 2008 season, a number of changes took place to the soccer field including the orientation and the addition of seating bringing the capacity to 2500. 

The closest parking lot to the field is at Jenison and on game days, parking can be at a premium.  People were parking everywhere.  In spaces, on the grass, wherever they could find a spot to put their cars.  The only bad thing about Old College Field is the parking, but that seems to be the trend at all of MSU’s athletic facilities. 

You enter Old College Field between the baseball and softball diamonds…that is, if you’re paying.  You wouldn’t believe how many kids…and adults were sucking in their guts and squeezing through the fence that is meant to keep people out.  I don’t know how much a soccer game costs, but it can’t be that much.  Read the rest of this entry »





Kelly/Shorts Stadium

12 10 2009
  • W. Campus Drive & University Park Drive
  • Mt. Pleasant, MI 48858
  • (517) 774-3277
  • Website
Kelly/Shorts Stadium on the campus of Central Michigan University

Kelly/Shorts Stadium on the campus of Central Michigan University

Fall sports have been good to me so far this year.  I’ve been busy pretty much every weekend.  My recent trip was up to Mt. Pleasant for a CMU Chippewas football game.  It was my first time at CMU and only the third time I had even been to Mt. Pleasant, so I was excited to see more of the town and of course, the CMU football stadium. 

Kelly/Shorts Stadium is the home of the Central Michigan University football team.  It sits just off BR 127 at University Park Drive and W. Campus Drive on the southeast corner of the CMU campus.  The stadium opened in 1972 with a loss to win over Illinois State.  At that time, the stadium was simply called Perry Shorts Stadium.  In 1983, the name was changed to Kelly/Shorts Stadium to honor former football coach Bill Kelly. 

The thing that surprised me initially was the size.  I know CMU is a FBS school, but I sometimes forget that the MAC is actually on the same level as the Big Ten….at least when it comes to NCAA status.  The main grandstand behind CMU’s bench is huge.  When you enter the seating level from the main concourse, you have to go down to your seats.  At some points in the stadium, you have to walk up stairs to get to the concourse area.  In other parts there are gradual ramps. Read the rest of this entry »





Michigan Stadium

20 09 2009
  • 1 E. Stadium Blvd.
  • Ann Arbor, MI 48104
  • (734) 764-1817
  • Website
Michigan Stadium - The Big House

Michigan Stadium - "The Big House"

Don’t judge me.  I wouldn’t judge you if you went to a baseball game at Wrigley Field.  I’m not a closet Michigan fan.  In fact, growing up, I despised Michigan because my brother, for some reason, was a huge Wolverine fan.  We grew up about an hour north of the University of Illinois, so it caused a lot of Saturday afternoon fights in our house. 

Still, even though I’ve never been a fan of Michigan, like most sports fans, Michigan Stadium has been one of the stadiums that I really wanted to see a game in.  When we moved to Lansing, one of our goals was to see a football game at both Michigan and Michigan State.  I’ve been to Spartan Stadium for work, but not Michigan Stadium. 

Last week, when I was working at Illinois, I got a text message from J that said she wanted to go to a football game this weekend.  She looked first at MSU, but they were on the road, so she checked Michigan.  There were tickets available and at $50 a piece, didn’t seem to overpriced, so she ordered two tickets. 

I hate to admit it, but I’ve been looking forward to this all week.  I mean, it’s The Big House. I have a lot of friends back home, who aren’t Michigan fans either, that are really jealous. 

Michigan Stadium is the centerpiece of the University of Michigan athletic campus  on the corner of Main Street and Stadium Boulevard.  I’ve heard a lot of stories about how crappy the place is, but those opinions were coming from Michigan State fans, so there may be a little biased.  My expectations for the stadium itself wasn’t very high.  My suspicion was that Michigan Stadium was more about tradition and atmosphere than it was comfort and aesthetics. Read the rest of this entry »





Mackinac Island

26 07 2009
  • 7274 Main Street
  • Mackinac Island, MI 49757
  • (906) 847-3783
  • Website
Mackinac Island

Mackinac Island

J and I finally feel like Michiganders (or is it Michiginians?).  It seems like every weekend, our friends who grew up here always say they’re “going up north.”  That’s it.  No specific place.  Just up north.  Since we don’t have family here or a cottage somewhere, there’s really no reason for us to “go north.” 

Since moving here, I’ve wanted to go to Mackinac Island.  J went when she was younger.  Her family did the circle tour one year and Mackinac Island was one of the stops.  I’ve never been.  We had plans to go for a couple days in June, but wedding plans made it impossible to take the trip.  A couple weeks ago, J and I were noticing our weekends off, alone together were slowly becoming more and more rare.  We looked at the calendar and figured out the last weekend in July could be the last chance until next spring for us to get away for a day, so we made plans.

Our day started early.  We got up around 7:30 and got on the road about 8:00.  We knew we couldn’t afford to stay on the Island and we knew we couldn’t afford to take the ferry two days in a row, so we decided just to make it a day trip.  Yes, it was a long day with a lot of driving, but it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.  Mackinac Island is abouta  3 1/2 hour drive from Lansing, but it’s all four lane highway which is really nice. 

We pulled into Mackinaw City at about 11:30.  We found our way to the Arnold Ferry.  When we pulled in, a guy pointed us to a parking lot across the street.  We parked and walked back to get our tickets.  Arnold was the one ferry company that had a AAA discount.  I showed my card and got a couple bucks off.  The tickets were $22 a piece for the round trip, so the ferry round cost us $44.  I was hit with sticker shock when I first saw the prices, but it’s the only way to get there. Read the rest of this entry »





Silver Cross Field – Joliet, IL

20 06 2009
  • 1 Mayor Art Schultz Drive
  • Joliet, IL 60432
  • (815) 726-2255
  • Website
Silver Cross Field in downtown Joliet.

Silver Cross Field in downtown Joliet.

I think I’ve already mentioned, I really like baseball.  Most guys spend all year getting ready for their fantasy football draft….I look forward to April because baseball’s starting.  I’ve been very lucky the last seven years having a Midwest League team in the city I’ve lived in.  Trust me, I’ve taken advantage of that. 

For my first two years of college, I played baseball at the University of St. Francis in Joliet, IL.  We played our home games on a pretty nice field at Joliet Catholic Academy (high school).  Since I went to a small high school, this field was a huge step up, but for most of the guys I played with, it was a step down.  In 2003, USF got a huge opportunity to play it’s home games at the newly built Silver Cross Field in downtown Joliet.  I never got to play there or even see it before I left school, but the park’s main tenant is the Joliet Jackhammers of the Northern League. 

J and I were at my parents house and it’s always nice to be able to get my dad out of the house.  He likes baseball like I like baseball so I suggested the hour drive north to Joliet.  Once we figured out the rain might actually hold off, my mom and aunt also wanted in, so we loaded up the van an headed to Joliet. Read the rest of this entry »





Potter Park Zoo

30 05 2009
  • 1301 S. Pennsylvania Avenue
  • Lansing, MI 48912
  • (517) 483-4222
  • Website
Potter Park Zoo on Pennsylvania Avenue in Lansing.

Potter Park Zoo on Pennsylvania Avenue in Lansing.

Last year, J and I did a lot of exploring on the day of the “Be A Tourist In Your Own Town” event.  The first place we went was the Potter Park Zoo.  Both J and I have fond memories of trips to Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo and Brookfield Zoo from our childhood.  The Potter Park Zoo isn’t quite comparable, but the day we spent there was a lot of fun and something we were looking forward to for this year’s “Be A Tourist..”

The Potter Park Zoo is on Pennsylvania Avenue on the banks of the Red Cedar River.  On a normal day, you would have to pay for parking then pay to get in.  Since we’ve made both our trips on the “Be A Tourist….” day, we’ve gotten both fees waived with our passports.  From Pennsylvania, you drive down a long driveway before hitting the parking lot. 

This year, the parking lot was packed.  We drove around for a while before we found a spot.  We also timed it just right with a CATA bus.  They had just dropped off a load of people, so when we got up the ticket window to show our passports, there was a line.  Even without having to pay, it took about ten minutes to get in.  Read the rest of this entry »





The Venue – Hammond, IN

3 05 2009
  • 777 Casino Center Drive
  • Hammond, IN 46320
  • (219) 473-6060
  • Website 
The entrance to the Horseshoe Casino in Hammond.

The entrance to the Horseshoe Casino in Hammond.

I know it looks like I have a gambling problem, but really, I never spend much.  Maybe twenty bucks tops.  We just seem to be having a lot of luck lately at finding shows we want to see at casinos. 

Back in March, I stopped at the Horseshoe Casino in Hammond to pick up four tickets to see Joel McHale.  J and I watch The Soup every Friday night and really like McHale’s comedy, so I thought this would be a great birthday present.  J’s mom is also a fan, so I picked up two more tickets for her and J’s step dad.

The Venue is on the second floor of the Horseshoe Casino which sits near I-90 on Indianapolis Boulevard in Hammond.   There’s a large parking structure as you come upon the complex and the elevator takes you back down to the first floor where you enter the casino.

The gaming floor is huge.  It’s not as big as Soaring Eagle, but it’s much bigger than the riverboat casino’s in the area.  It’s a large, open area with a high ceiling.  You have to go all the way to the back of the gaming floor to find the escalators that lead up to The Venue. Read the rest of this entry »