If anyone on MgoBlog is like me, this is the time of the year you start thinking about possible Away Game Road Trips for the upcoming Michigan Football Season. It would be great if I had the time and money travel to every away game, staying in a hotel at a prime location for a long weekend of bars and football, but I’m not at that point in my life right now. I (like most others) have to find a balance between time, effort and cost in deciding which away games to attend. The following information is to help people with their planning and hopefully you guys can help me with any advice you may have. These away games are a huge part of my Michigan Football season, and I have always said that one away game equals three average home games. I love visiting the towns, meeting the opposing fans and hearing a nearly silent stadium every time Michigan scores a touchdown. Go Blue!
9/1 vs. Alabama
Getting There: 1203 miles/ 19hrs. 29min. Flights from DTW: $471+
Where to Stay: 20+ hotels available within 4 miles of the stadium at $50-$324/night
Early StubHub Prices: $315+
My Take: My first reaction when I heard about this neutral site game was “I wish it was a home and home”. I would have paid almost anything to travel down to Alabama. I can’t justify paying $1000 for air fare, $600 for a hotel, $600 for two tickets and a couple hundred for a rental car. That’s almost $2500 for a couples days with a football game thrown in. Yes, I could have extended the trip and maybe drove down to Austin to make a vacation out of it but that’s a lot of money for Texas.
9/22 at Notre Dame
South Bend, Ind.
Getting There: 169 miles/ 2 hrs. 55 min.
Where to Stay: 6 hotels available within 2 miles of the stadium at $269-$420/night
Early StubHub Prices: $315+
My Take: South Bends close proximity to Ann Arbor makes this really tempting. I would probably drive there in the morning and tailgate all day. Then drive home after the game. $300 is a lot for a football ticket but given the fact that my only other expense would be food, gas and parking, it would actually be one of the least expensive away games to attend.
10/6 at Purdue
West Lafayette, Ind.
Getting There: 296 miles/ 5 hrs. 4 min
Where to Stay: 1 hotel available within 2 miles of the stadium at $244/night
Early StubHub Prices: $70+
My Take: I already booked my hotel room for this game. Purdue is an easy ticket to get and a laid back stadium atmosphere. This is the first time I’m staying in West Lafayette. I’m staying at the Holiday Inn Downtown and I have been told that there are bars and restaurants within walking distance of the hotel. The last time I visited Purdue for a game we drove down that morning and arrived two hours before the game. We drove back immediately after the game. It was a long day but still a great time.
10/27 at Nebraska
Getting There: 748 miles/ 12hrs. 38min. Flights from DTW: $453+. Another option that I am considering is taking the train from Ann Arbor for $109 roundtrip (17 hours).
Where to Stay: 2 hotels within 1 mile of the stadium. $225-$600/night. 16 hotels available 1-3 miles for the stadium at $43-$346/night.
Early StubHub Prices: $219+
My Take: I’m definitely going! I have family that lives five minutes from the stadium. Yes, ticket prices are expensive but not having to pay for a couple nights at a hotel easily offsets the ticket price. I have friends that are also making the trip to Lincoln that have said the hotel choices are pretty bad. They said that you either pay a ton for an average hotel or you are staying in a dump. They actually opted to stay a 30 minutes outside of Lincoln.
11/3 at Minnesota
Getting There: 650 miles/ 11 hrs. 29 min. Flights from DTW: $316+
Where to Stay: 10+ hotels available within 2 miles of the stadium at $80-$150/night
Early StubHub Prices: $99+
My Take: I have never been to Minnesota but I love the fact that they have their own outdoor stadium now. With affordable tickets and cheap hotels, I will definitely be making a trip up there sooner rather than later. Other than the Mall of America, I know absolutely nothing about Minnesota.
11/24 at OHIO
Getting There: 191 miles/ 3 hrs. 11 min.
Where to Stay: 11 hotels available within 2 miles of the stadium at $75-$230/night
Early StubHub Prices: $323+
My Take: This would definitely be a “get in and get out” type of road trip. I know everyone has their stories about Columbus but I have to get down there for a game one day to see for myself. Again, tickets are and will always be expensive to OHIO, but at least it's close and you don't have to stay the night.
* all mileage is from Ann Arbor*
I hope this has got everyone thinking about their 2012 Away Game Road Trips. So where are you planning to go this year?