Travelling to Illinois ?

Submitted by Indiana Blue on November 9th, 2011 at 2:26 PM

The trip to Illinois is the last road trip for 2011 (thank God there were only 4).  A win on Saturday and we end up 2 - 2 away from Michigan Stadium.

I will be making my first trip to Illinois and, as such, would like some useful tips from those experienced MGoBloggers about parking, tailgating and the like.   I realize that the Wolverines are hated down there (but honestly Iowa was not bad at all) so we will be on alert.  With the 3:30p start (thanks for nothin ESPN) ... I wil have plenty of time to get there by 10a Illinois time.

Thanks for the help and .... Go Blue!



November 9th, 2011 at 2:29 PM ^

No seriously, I'm from Chicago and know plenty of Illinois alumni. They hate our football team and our fans. Expect some "Get out of my state"s and "Juice Williams" stuff when you're down there.


November 9th, 2011 at 2:43 PM ^

I'm from Illinois, yet have never been to U of I, but from what I know of all my friends their hatred for us is as disproportionate to our feelings about them as probably any other team in the B1G. I'll be making the trip too though so I'm excited to see our boys for the second time this year on the road (I was at the only other "road" win... so maybe that's a good sign?)


November 9th, 2011 at 2:49 PM ^

Been there quite a few times.  Not the friendliest of opposing tailgaters especially following up Iowa who are perhaps the friendliest. Non permit is available in 44, 49, and research park. I have never been to lot 44 so can't comment on that.  That may be around campus area which may be good or bad.  Plenty of Michiga fans in lot 49 and walked through research park 2 years and saw some UM fans there as well.  Lot 49 is a little bit of a hike compared to other lots .


November 9th, 2011 at 2:59 PM ^

Iowa was pretty friendly last weekend. Although we did get a few people screaming "Ann Arbor is a whore" and one oddly timed "Ann Arbor touches little boys" which im sure they were confused about the Penn State drama.

The guy sitting infront of us stated how much he hated Michigan fans and the guy behind me asked if we do any stupid cheers like they did. Apparently the put a Panchero Burrito on the Scoreboard and everyone raise it to the roof. I told him we didnt have ads or stupid cheers.


November 9th, 2011 at 3:14 PM ^

Yeah im a Mich fan living in Champaign, expect to see alot of Ann Arbor is a Whore tshirts.  Went 2 tha 2007 gm, the people werent that bad, no profanity was thrown my way, they did usher out a drunk Mich fan for being rude (which he was) that dude almost got his ass kicked for throwing beer on people. I quickly assured tha people around me that not all Mich fans act like that.


November 9th, 2011 at 3:20 PM ^

I go to several games a year at U of I being that my wife is a alum. It is true that they really do seem to hate Michigan with a passion. Be prepared to hear alot of App St. comments at the tailgate, walking to the game, etc. I usually just point that how Michigan has beaten them 7 out of the last 10 meetings and move on. I will be at the game on Saturday if it doesn't rain we will be parking over by the I hotel in a field. It's cheap and has a short walk to the game. Plus if you want to can walk over to the bar in the I hotel and watch an early games. The stadium is a wind tunnel so be sure to wear layers has it can get cold sitting in there.


November 9th, 2011 at 3:37 PM ^

Yep, I'm a black sheep in the family :).  Anyway, parking near the stadium is not bad and the tailgate scene at Illinois is suprisingly good for their football tradition.  Lots of fields and empty lots around the stadium has lead to a robust party atmosphere. 

CU is more segmented than AA.  There are three distinct areas (downtown Champaign, Campus Town, downtown Urbana).  Downtown Urbana has next to nothing going for it.  Don't waste your time there. 

Campus town is nice, but parking is attrocious there.  They conciously made the decisiion a few years back to discourage cars in the campus town area.  Walk there or take the bus (CU bus system is actually really good).  Kam's and CO Daniels are now Illinois instutions, but mostly frat folks.  Legends is a great place to go (on green street) for food and see some early games.  It will have more of an older crowd there too.  Paps Del's Pizza just down the road is can't miss.  Nothing like it outside of Chicago.  I can't emphasize enought going there.  If wings are more your thing, hit Murphy's Pub.

Downtown Champaign is a lot of fun.  As I got older, this where my friends and I would spend most of our time.  It has more of a grad student / hippster vibs and will make Ann Arborites feel more at home.  Esquire is a chill pub.  There's a martini bar called Boltini that's pretty good and Jupiter for pool.  Hell, there's even a Blind Pig. 

If your looking more coffee shop, Cafe Kopi is the best.  There are even a couple of Cafe Espresso's sprinkled through town.

For breakfast, everyone will tell you Mary Ann's diner.  On game day, it will be packed.  I'd avoid it.  I personally think its overrated.

Have fun, and yeah, they tend to think of Mich as their top rival....  Its funny


November 9th, 2011 at 4:31 PM ^

I live in Springfield, and it is true that Illinois fans hate us for whatever reason.  I think most of it has to do with the 89 basketball team, as most Illini fans can't accept that Gmoney torched em to get us to the finals after getting beat by them twice during the regular season.  They also think we are a bunch a arrogant jerks.  Considering our history and the fact that as many good basketball squads that they have had, they still have 0 championships.  I always ask why the hate?  Because we are pretty much indifferent towards them, I could care less whether or not Illinois does anything positive or negative.

BTW, Champaign is one ugly city and campus.

Tha Stunna

November 9th, 2011 at 4:47 PM ^

There are a ton of Muck Fichigan shirts around.  I have not seen them wear the equivalent shirts for any other school.  I've been a grad student at Illinois for four years and I have not seen the hatred change.

I watched the '09 game in the student section and was the only Michigan fan for at least 10 people in any direction.  That really sucked; let's not speak of that again.

In terms of food, Dos Reales has some really good fajitas; it's a good dinner joint.  Ask for more tortillas in advance; they never give you enough.  I've never been there on gameday however.


November 10th, 2011 at 1:22 AM ^

May be it was from the Mike White era but ILLINI fans just don't like Michigan. This is where fans can get in your face and you may have to protect yourself.  Most of the time it is just a bunch of yelling. You will see a lot of Muck Fichigan shirts. Overall, it is probably my least favorite road venue. I look forward to the Columbus crowd, you need to argue and fight or they will push you around but I was not expecting that here in Champagne when I made my first road trip there in '91. That '91 team had a good D, we shut them out  20-0 if I remember right. I was thinking about going this year but I had too much work to complete. I'll try to catch the IA or IL games on the road in '13. I may have connections to get NE tickets next year in Lincoln.