Memorial Stadium – Champaign, IL

8 09 2008
  • 1402 S. First St.
  • Champaign, IL 61820
  • (217) 333-3630
  • Website
The south endzone of Memorial Stadium filled with fans as the Fightin Illini take on the Panthers of Eastern Illinois

The south endzone of Memorial Stadium filled with fans as the Fightin' Illini take on the Panthers of Eastern Illinois

I finished up my weekend in Champaign at the newly renovated Memorial Stadium on the campus of the University of Illinois.  Like many other Big Ten schools, U of I decided they needed luxury suites and to do so, they chopped their upper deck seating on the west side by quite a bit.  The benefit for me is one of the best press boxes I’ve ever worked out of and a relocation of the camera platforms from a basket hanging off the upper deck that I had to climb over the rail to get to to platforms at the back of the concourse which is much safer and comfortable. 

From the outside, the home of the Fightin’ Illini doesn’t look much different.  The architects were able to keep the integrity of the building.  Something that couldn’t be done a few hours north at Soldier Field in Chicago.  Inside, the west side is a totally different building.  When you first walk in to the stadium, you come to a huge open concourse area.  Plenty of room for the thousands of fans who show up on a Saturday afternoon to walk around comfortably.  The walls are lined with concession stands and souvenir kiosks.  If your seats are in the lower bowl, you can easily get to those seats from where you enter.  When the stadium was redesigned, they made it possible to walk from one side to the other which was something you couldn’t do just a few years ago.  Read the rest of this entry »