2012 Football Road Trips

Submitted by HELLE on March 27th, 2012 at 2:30 AM

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

Arlington, Texas

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

Lincoln, Neb.

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

Minneapolis, Minn.

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

Columbus, 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?


South TX MFan

March 27th, 2012 at 2:43 AM ^

I'll be making the trip for the Bama game since it's only a 5 hour drive for me. I don't

get to watch live games so I'm in the minority that's glad the game is in Arlington. I did travel to Ann Arbor for The Game last season which was my first trip up there and needless to say it was mind blowing. For those worried about finding things to do in TX don't worry there's a lot to do here. DFW is a great area.


March 27th, 2012 at 2:52 AM ^

I'm making the long drive to Texas for the Alabama game. I'm going to the Purdue game since I'm a grad student there, so that is a freebie. I might go to Nebraska, but we'll see. I'm not going to South Bend or Columbus this year since I went to both in 2010.


March 27th, 2012 at 5:31 AM ^

I live there and can recommend a ton of good bars that might be of interest. It is a good stadium...definitely a step above the Metrodome. Went to the Gophers game last year where they upset Iowa, so much fun being there, can't wait for Michigan to show them what it means to be the top dog in the Big Ten!


Also, not really sure where you are getting your hotel rates from, you can find FAR cheaper places if you don't mind skimping on quality. Look for Red Roof Inn types and save money, if you're into that sort of thing.


March 27th, 2012 at 5:50 AM ^

I did a distance to the Stadium search on Kayak and I cut it off at two miles ( I figured walking distance). The closest Red Roof Inn according to Google Maps is 11.5 miles from the Stadium (2600 Annapolis Lane North, Plymouth, MN 55441).

Every Roh Has …

March 27th, 2012 at 6:43 AM ^

My roommates and I made a pact when we started college to try and see as many Big Ten stadium as we could before we graduate. We all graduate in December, and have been to Michigan, MSU, Purdue, Northwestern, Penn State, Illinois, Indiana, and Notre Dame. The drawback is the fact that 2 of us are Michigan fans, while the other 2 are Sparty (we are all CMU students). This means that we rotate years on who we go watch. Last year I had the pleasure of taking in the Michigan-NW and Michigan-Illinois games. This coming season is Sparty's turn, but for the sake of the pact we made I will be going to Wisconsin and Minnesota


March 27th, 2012 at 8:04 AM ^

You will be better off looking for hotels in Omaha and driving the 45 min. There are 3-4 decent hotels near the stadium that are booked (spring game those were sold out even) and the rest are Motel 6 quality places in the vicinity.  You will drive 15+ min for the rest of the nicer hotels, or you could stay in Omaha and it is a much nicer town.  The Old Market area has great restaurants, bars and things to do.  If you enjoy gambling, add 5 minutes and stay across the river in Council Bluffs at one of the casinos (Ameristar, Harrahs, et).



March 27th, 2012 at 8:18 AM ^

Now living in Kansas City, I'm planning on meeting up with some old AA friends to go to the Nebraska game this year... although had no idea tickets were going to be so expensive.  Any thoughts on why they're so expensive?  Will they go down as the game gets closer?


April 23rd, 2012 at 7:42 PM ^

So it's impossible to say something about how expensive it will ultimately be at the Nebraska vs Michigan game in Lincoln, since we have no comparison. Some of the things said above are true. Since the stadium is smaller, everything ends up being more expensive. With this being the inaugural game (in Lincoln, at least), this will only compound this problem. Couple that with the fact that Nebraska sporting really has nothing else going for it (no professional teams, no other storied programs about) and you'll understand why coming to this game will cost some big time bucks.

There is the option of renting a house in Lincoln if you've got the people to do so. It will be much cheaper per person than getting a hotel (provided you've a big enough group), but it'll still be darn expensive and the options aren't many, so they'll probably fill up as the season approaches.

A BETTER option is likely staying in Omaha and renting some sort of transporation to the game. I've seen a variety of people band together to get a party bus for transportation too and from the stadium, and there are even some "tailgating packages" during the year.

As for tickets, the scalping market is very much alive and well. I don't think you'll be able to get a ticket for under $100, but if you're willing to risk the uncertainties of not arriving with a ticket, you'll almost certainly be able to get a ticket at half face value.

I'm in Omaha and looking for a way to get 12-20 of my Uof M buddies down here for a good, convenient time. If I make any headway into it I'll keep y'all updated as to the best way to prevent paying the big bucks to come to Nebraska of all places.

Two Hearted Ale

March 27th, 2012 at 9:09 AM ^

I'm going to Jerry World and the toilet seat. Hotels were very expensive near the stadium in Arlington so we are staying in downtown Fort Worth. I have no idea what's going on in Fort Worth but I figure it's better than staying near the airport which is something I have done.

We may stay with friends in Columbus but we have stayed at a hotel in the past. In 2010 we actually stayed at the team hotel, which wasn't anywhere near campus. We will tailgate in Columbus but there are a lot of options if you don't want to bring supplies; Hineygate (which has moved to Riverwatch) and the Varsity Club are good options. They will be crawling with buckeyes but everywhere will be crawling with buckeyes which is why tailgating is probably a better option.

Kalamazoo Blue

March 27th, 2012 at 9:15 AM ^

Annual road trip with my undergrad buddies. We've been doing this every year since the 80s. Really want to see the new stadium. That will leave Nebraska as the only B1G stadium we haven't seen a game in yet.

Got a direct flight from Lansing for $215. Current price is $253, but still cheaper than Detroit.

Hank Hill

March 27th, 2012 at 9:34 AM ^

My buddy is flying in from AZ, and "Peggy" and I are making the drive East as we live in WY. Tickets prices are outrageous, even compared to the amount I dropped for GREAT seats to UTL.
I am excited to see the stadium as well as mingle with fans. I just hope no one tries to wrestle me, since I only had one loss during my entire wrestling career.


March 27th, 2012 at 9:43 AM ^

My Dad and I have seen Michigan win at each venue in the Big Ten except Nebraska (obvious reasons) and Minnesota's new out door stadium. We've also seen UM win at the Rose and Fiesta Bowls and at Notre Dame. Since this is the first year UM plays at Neb and at Minny's new outdoor stadium, those will be our two roadtrips...

Go Blue!


March 27th, 2012 at 10:48 AM ^

All of them except Ohio and maybe Minny. My Dad is taking me to Bama and Notre Dame. Being a student tickets are cheaper and I have no need for hotels when I have a nice car I can sleep in at a rest stop.


March 27th, 2012 at 1:56 PM ^

I am going to try to head down to the Bama game and stay in Lubbock with my cousin then take in the tailgate early. I doubt I'll be able to afford a ticket but the atmosphere is going to be incredible down there and gameday is sure to be there so if I can't make the game I'm sure I'll still have a blast


March 27th, 2012 at 2:14 PM ^

I'm a grad student at Minnesota now, after going to Ann Arbor for undergrad. One of the nice things about the Twin Cities that I've found during the couple of years I've lived here is the great beer culutre and abundance/availability of local microbrews at most of the bars. Now, this opinion may be confounded by the fact that I tend to go to bars catering to an older crowd than I did in MI, or by a national rise in microbrew popularity during my time here, but I honestly find myself trying all kinds of new beer more often, because there is such a wide variety available on tap.

For anyone headed this way for the game, Stub and Herb's is a bar right next to the stadium with a great selection of taps that change weekly. However, this place WILL BE PACKED and hard to breathe in around gametime. For a lower-key atmosphere a bit farther from the stadium, I recommend west-bank (across the river from the stadium) area bars such as Republic, Acadia, and Town Hall Brewery. All great choices with good selection. There is also a Michigan alumni group who meet for drinks in downtown Minneapolis during games. I think they used to meet at 508 bar but moved one door down (west) last year.


March 27th, 2012 at 2:31 PM ^

I'll be headed to Minny at least.  Looking forward to seeing their new stadium.  Might go to Purdue as well, but was not impressed the last time I was there. Visitors have to sit in the end zone and are not allowed access to the rest of the stadium.  Plus they have these HUGE speakers right in your ear screaming this train whistle the whole game to make up for the lack of their fans making noise. 


March 27th, 2012 at 8:34 PM ^

  Being only 2.5 hours away from Dallas, I wanted to go to the Bama game so bad, but I am not a student so reasonably priced tickets were not available. Anyone think tickets will become available closer to the game day?


April 7th, 2012 at 5:11 PM ^

Favorite article!

I am going to the Bama game for sure! Standing Room tickets are only going to be $50-$100. Hotels wouldn't be that bad. Probably $300 total per person (I'm going with 2 others). Not sure about ND. Tickets are expensive but possibly. I might to go Minnesota. Cheap on MGoBlue.com and hotels cheap. Nebraska: maybe. Expensive tickets and far drive. Maybe. Ohio, very tempting to go no matter how much it costs. I've already been to Purdue.

I think you're also forgetting one of the biggest ones: Big Ten Championship! Tickets wouldn't be too much an it's not too far.

Darren Gouch

April 23rd, 2012 at 4:45 AM ^

I have to find a poise between time, effort and cost in  decide which away games to attend. The subsequent in sequence is to help people with their setting up and hopefully you guys onthebroadway can help me with any submission you may have.