MGoSuggestions: Buffalo Wild Wings or Scorekeepers

Submitted by Darth Wolverine on September 12th, 2012 at 12:52 PM

I am looking for suggestions on where to watch the night games this Saturday. I'm coming Saturday morning from the Cleveland area, tailgating, going to the game, and then heading to a bar/restaurant for the night games.

Ira and Sam always talk about Scorekeepers (obviously because that is where they do their post game show), but I saw some reviews online about that place and many people complained about terrible service and some other stuff. I know where the BW3 (I believe it is on South State Street, might be mistaken on that though) is on campus, as I have been there before.

I want to go to a place that has a plethora of televisions with SOUND for the night game(s). I'm assuming the bars with sound will have the sound for the ND/Sparty game, which is what I really want. So, which should I go to, BW3 or Scorekeepers?



September 12th, 2012 at 2:47 PM ^

And the kids well you know they are kind of watching games but also kind of trying to hook up so they like the skeeps and bw's vibe.  If I had to go downtown to watch a game then it would be the Arena but mainly cause I'm a psuedo regular from few years back.  It has odd angles to the tv's for watching games.  Must be because the way it's built.  Certain areas are terrible for watching.  And the tv's above the bar are too high.  You will have a kink in your neck if you sit there and watch a 3 hour game.

Bw's in Ypsi is actually better for watching games.  It gets packed but it's a good crowd and doesn't have the college kids.

Been hanging at Westside's lately.  It's a very confortable true sports bar.





September 12th, 2012 at 3:42 PM ^

I couldn't agree more with this assessment of Arena.  Although it is a lesser of two evils if comparing the two, you would have a better chance of getting standing room at BW3 than at Arena in areas that are not high traffic paths.  If you aren't sitting at Arena, it seems like you are either in the way of people arriving/leaving/going to bathroom or the servers.  There really is no where to stand that allows you to see the screens and be out of the way.  BW3 has more TVs, newer ones and more area to stand if you can't get a seat.


September 12th, 2012 at 1:23 PM ^

If you are looking to watch a game with the commentary then Scorekeepers on a Saturday night is clearly not for you.  In fact, with those two goals in mind, just about any other bar in Ann Arbor would be a superior experience to Scorekeepers.

Foote Fetish

September 12th, 2012 at 1:33 PM ^

...I'm going to be in Grand Rapids on Saturday.  Anyone have a sports bar they love or recommend there for UM/Mass watching purposes?

Oh, also, BWW over Skeeps.  I second the Arena though.


September 12th, 2012 at 4:01 PM ^

is good. Watched a few games there last year. If you are stuck downtown though, there is a corporate BWW on the corner of Ionia and Fulton. It will be packed but there are TVs galore. Plus, you could sneak off to Hopcat afterward and enjoy one of their over 100 available non-Bud Light beers. Excellent craft selection and their crack fries are well worth  the wait.


September 12th, 2012 at 11:27 PM ^

Cool place... just wish it wasn't so far away from everything else in Grand Rapids. Otherwise Uccellos is a decent option, as is Peppinos on Ionia downtown. Those two chains are essentially identical faux Italian sports bars, but they have decent prices, good food and lots of tvs.


September 12th, 2012 at 1:35 PM ^

Between the two, I'd say Bdubs.  Less annoying (but also less attractive) college kids, more people there to actually watch football, and much better food.

However, if I was forced to watch a football game at a bar instead of at a stadium or in the comfort of my own living room, I'd probably choose The Arena.  Cheap beer, suprisingly decent food and a pleasant place to watch a game.  Or you could just go to the Heidelberg and pretend your there for the game, but end up drinking a boot and playing darts.


September 12th, 2012 at 1:36 PM ^

It's been a long time but if I recall CUBS AC had a lot of TVs with sound and the expansion tent that didn't get too ridiculously crowded (if I'm remembering the right place - had to google map it but remember it being around Industrial so think that's the place).


Perhaps someone else can comment on its merits or lack thereof as another possibility.


September 12th, 2012 at 1:48 PM ^

No, don't go to Cubs A.C.  Saturday night is Karaoke night, starting at 10.

It's an ok place, if a bit of a dive, 6 days a week.  I went there a couple of years ago to watch a hockey game on a Saturday night in May, and it was fine until they started setting up for karaoke at around 9 pm.  They even turned off the TVs. 

If you plan on leaving before 10 pm, obviously, there won't be any problem, but don't plan to watch a night game there.


September 12th, 2012 at 2:26 PM ^

I think the karaoke night thing is a recent (past 3 years or so) development.  Maybe they don't do it on game days, but their website says they do.  I think it's the only place on S Industrial that comes close to your description, so that must be the place. 

The only other sports bar I know of within walking distance south of the stadium is Fraser's on Packard, which I haven't been to in years but I agree with others who mention it as a possible post-game destination.


Canada loves S…

September 12th, 2012 at 1:37 PM ^

Grizzly Peak has a nice little bar tucked off to the side.  The restaurant will be packed but you can sit at the bar without a wait. Lots of nice flat screens.

Another option if BWW has no tables is Melange on Main Street. Definitely NOT a sports bar, but 3 large TV's behind their bar with the sound turned on at any one you like. It's never busy and their martinis are amazing.

French West Indian

September 12th, 2012 at 3:29 PM ^

...that's a good point.  Whenever I really wanted to watch a game (i.e., without the added excitement of a bunch of screaming, high-fiving fans), I would often watch at a non-sports bar such as Melange.  You can see everythting without distraction and because the crowds are elsewhere, you tend to get excellent service.  Once upon a time, Goodnite Gracie's was an excellent underrated choice for just such viewing.


September 12th, 2012 at 2:03 PM ^

it's fun after the game, the BAR food is decent and people are having fun. What more can you ask for? BW3 is awesome, but is more of a restaurant-y feel.


September 12th, 2012 at 2:27 PM ^

Not have a campus style sports bar worth a damn?

The Arena probably comes closest.  But it's more a townie bar.

BWW is a chain. A halfway decent one, but a chain. Probably be my recommendation.

Skeeps is horrible if you want to watch a game in the evening. It's about girls and dancing and hooking up as soon as the sun goes down. Not that any of those things are bad, but not as a sports bar. Plus they're whores (I'm talking about the bar) and used to be when OSU was in town on Thanksgiving weekend without the students they'd play things like Hang on Sloopy for the OSU fans in town. Fuck 'em.

Damon's is more an NFL Sunday kinda day. But I'll give them credit they at least had the Big Ten Network the year Comcast wasn't carrying it.

How can you watch Notre Dame in a place called the Blue Leprechaun? That was the place of the last good sports bar. Touchdown, under the original owner. Lots of tvs, would play the sound, had the great murals on the walls.  Then they sold it to the Greek mafia crew and the place tried to be some sucky New York nightclub atmosphere.  Original Touchdown's is the only good sports bar I can remember around campus.

Main street has some decent bars but none that I would really consider great for watching tv.

The Packard Pub with the flowing out football crowd should have been a GREAT place for a sports bar...if it wasn't run so horribly (from everyone I've ever heard...haven't been myself).

So yeah, not a lot of great choices.


September 13th, 2012 at 12:20 AM ^

Yes, BWW in AA is a chain, but it's a damn fine sports bar. They put a pretty good selection on tap (nothing amazing, but more than doable) and when it's time for the Michigan game (unless it's UMass or something), EVERY TV in the place goes to the game. Their wings may be overpriced, but they are pretty damn good. People have some sort of problem with food from chains, but I don't get it.  It became popular for a reason!

Do, definitely, get there early. For UTL, I was there a full hour before kickoff and somehow found an empty seat at the bar. One. Within 10 minutes of that, we were well over fire code capacity. It was NUTS. FOr other games, it probably won't get packed like that, but it still may be SRO.

I wish Hooters would put a place in AA. That said, most Hooters I've been to don't have their TV situation in good shape. Small screens too far overhead.


September 13th, 2012 at 11:58 AM ^

But I can see how it would come off that way with my "AA needs a good sports bar."  I don't dislike a BW, but some people object to chains. I think it really depends on the chain. Some have high standards they hold their franchises to, others don't. Compare a Famous Dave's, which as a chain wins national awards, and say, an Applebee's. 

Back when it was BW3 I was actually looking to open one in town.  Because roommates who graduated and were in Chicago had one as a local bar, and wondered why the heck we didn't have one here (Of course, at the time, the one in North Chicago was a Colorado Buffalos bar, which was kinda painful).  And they really help a lot and make sure you keep up the standards.  Our problem was location. And after looking at tons of empty spaces (where the old Maynard McDonalds used to be, pretty much where Bar Louie is) the best place we found was...the closed Olga's.  But they didn't want to give it to us (for any reasonable price at least). Which ended up being smart on their part, because it ended up not just being a BW's, but a high rise too. 

I will say when I started going it really was a sports bar. Now it's more like the commercials, with all the bells and whistles.  I'm not saying it should be family unfriendly; just that it's started catering to that side a bit too much for my taste. But still a good bar and if I was going to watch a game in town as well as get my drink on, I'd probably choose it.

P.S. I would love to see the political backlash if they tried to open up a Hooters in downtown Ann Arbor.


September 12th, 2012 at 2:35 PM ^

Westside Banfields has made lots of changes since new management a few months ago.  It is definitely a sports bar and definitely a Michigan sports bar!  If you want to drink, eat, and actually watch football then go to Westside.




September 12th, 2012 at 2:39 PM ^

Ashley's, if you can get a place up front or at the bar isn't the worst and you're getting the best beer & bar food in town.  Though, if I recall correctly they don't turn the sound over to the game unless it's a Michigan game.  I could be wrong about that tho.

Bar Louie might have sound on inside their tent expansion...  I seem to recall watching part of a Lion's game there, but maybe I was just watching it and not listening...  I don't recall...

The Arena looks like a good choice, but sadly I've never been so I cannot attest.  All the South U bars have screens as well, as does Pizza House, but they'll all be packed after the game.  If the weather's nice sitting outside at the 'Jug isn't half bad though.  The Heidelberg is a great bar but doesn't have many screens and the likelihood of HEARING the game is slim-to-none.


Being completely honest here:  I usually have gone to BWW for football games.  It's very good at what it does:  the place to be if the primary goal is watching the game(s) and everything else is secondary.  But again, I have yet to try the Arena, so I'll get back to you on that.


September 12th, 2012 at 5:31 PM ^

Unless forced to by a large group, I avoid Connor's at all costs for one very petty reason: They don't have drink menus!  I like to see what's available and what it's going to cost me and I hate the attitude I get whenever I ask to see the waiter's own personal drink menu or ask them to go over what's on tap/special. Any place that's too lazy to provide the simplest of common courtesies isn't worth my time and money.

Perkis-Size Me

September 12th, 2012 at 3:52 PM ^

If you want to hang out with a bunch of freshman with fake ids that can't get into any other bar in town, go to Skeeps. Otherwise, I'd go somewhere else.

If you really want to watch the game, you won't go to Skeeps. I imagine its like a sports bar during the day. Wouldn't know. Haven't been during the day. Don't know many people who would bother going during the day. But if you're there much past 10, it turns into a shitshow.

I'd actually recommend Fraser's down on Packard over BWW. Its more of a sports bar atmosphere, but not a ragefest like Skeeps will be.


September 12th, 2012 at 4:52 PM ^

Arena, no question. A ton of TV's in the bar area, 2 large projection screen TV's, and individual TV's in the booths if you're lucky enough to snag one. Tons of good specials too.

It's impossible to get a seat at BWW, and as far as Skeeps is concerned...lets just say they sell chicken tenders and pizza slices to people on their way OUT of the bar.


September 12th, 2012 at 5:08 PM ^

I was at the Arena after the game last weekend, it was crowded pretty quickly but was able to get a 6 person table with minimal effort / wait. I agree with previous sentiments regarding the TVs being mounted higher than normal but for a game it was wasn't bothersome. 

I vote for local establishments over large chains whenever possible. I ended up a few times at Banfield's off Packard when a buddy lived out that way--very townie but thoroughly a sports bar. Reminded me of back home (Warren). 


September 12th, 2012 at 7:02 PM ^

Depends on what you're in to. If you want to binge and go Project X then by all means check out the frat and house parties. For a more mature experience, you probably want to check out Ashley's for a few beers (State Street) and a few of the Bars on Main St. and beyond (couple blocks down from State). Rick's is a popular party bar for juniors and seniors (by South U.) and there's a few mellow bars on South U. as well (Lil' Brown Jug, f. ex). If you're young and like sorority girls Ricks and Scorekeepers are popular with the locals (skeeps is younger). I would recommend walking down State (Ashley's has a great beer selection) then heading to Main Street and checking out the scene there. Afterwards. I would either go to a frat/house party or South U. depending on what you're into.

Ivan Karamazov

September 12th, 2012 at 6:02 PM ^

I have a few suggestions.

As stated Skeeps is an awkward place to be to watch football after 10pm, for the reasons already mentioned.

BW3 is the safe bet if you can find a place to be, most TV's for sure.

I myself prefer the Arena and it will definitely have the MSU game with sound on as one of the owners is a big MSU fan and (maybe) grad. The caveat is that it will surely be packed. Also the new bathrooms have nice "target" for your scorn when you need to relieve yourself.

If you enjoy Bar Louie that might be the easiest place to get into and watch the games as they have a large bar with many TV's and is never that crowded.  Also they may turn on the sound as recall walking home post Bama from the Arena I could hear the post game coverage, but that may have been a special thing for Bama.

tl; dr Book it post game to BW3 to be safe, check out Bar Louie next, last resort try to find standing room at Arena and avoid Skeeps like its an STD (becasue you will prolly catch one if you stay too long)



September 12th, 2012 at 11:45 PM ^

I would also like to add my theory as to why there aren't a whole lot of good sports bars near campus where you can casually watch a game. Suppose you were an enterprising person and decided to open one up on South U. I would wager one entire dollar of U.S. currency that if its open later than 10, that it would become a raging college bar just like all of the others simply because nobody but college students looking to get smashed go to South U that time of night on Saturdays. That's no excuse for Main St. though. Also, get the Monte Cristo sandwich at the Arena, holy cholesterol thats a delicious sandwich.