Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Big Ten Tournament Guide for Spartans Travelling to Indy

Please excuse my recent break. I have been trying to track down my own tickets for the Big Ten Tournament and neglected the site for a few days.

Since your blogger currently resides in Indianapolis, I thought that I would put together a few things that I would check out if I was visiting the tournament for the first time.

You Must Experience
1) Spartan Pep Rally - It occurs at the Westin at 7:00PM on Thursday and admission is free. I think this is the best part of the entire weekend as it provides an opportunity for alumni to interact with each other, and maybe even with Coach Izzo like last year. They also have free food at the event, but if I were you, I would get some food before hand because what they serve isn't very good. It's as if they transport pizza from Rick's Cafe in E.L. down to Indy for the event. If you like Rick's pizza, don't worry about it. Otherwise, Loughmiller's Pub is right next to the Westin and they have pretty good food.
2) The Big Ten Tournament- If you don't have tickets, don't worry, there are plenty of them that will be available outside of the stadium. Beware, however, that the face value of tickets for each session is very high. Your best bet to save some dough is to buy extra tickets off of fans and not scalpers. Especially fans of losing teams that are looking to dump tickets.

Consider Checking These Out (No particular order)
1) Coach's Tavern - This is my favorite bar in Indianapolis. It's your typical hang out place where you can throw back a couple of yellow pops before you go to the game. Its location is awesome as it is only one block North of Conseco Fieldhouse. The best day to go would be Saturday before the games as they will be having the prominent local sports radio station broadcasting live.
2) Slippery Noodle - This is the official Michigan State designated bar for the tournament. It's the oldest bar in Indianapolis and is known for its blues music. They have great food. The only problem is that it is not particularly close to the stadium. It's probably about a half of a mile away. But, you may find more Spartans there than anywhere else.
3) Circle City Mall - If you are staying downtown, you won't be able to avoid it. It's a popular city attraction, but really doesn't have many deals. It just looks nice.
4) Clauddaugh Irish Pub - For some reason, people in Indianapolis go to the Clauddaugh as if it's more of a bar than a restaurant. It's a very popular place. They are planning on having a tent outside for the Big Ten tournament on Sunday so it might be worth checking out. You can't beat the fish and chips at the Clauddaugh.
5) Fogo de chao - High end Brazilian steakhouse that is truly unique if you have never been there before. The food is unlimited and they bring you rounds of filet, chicken, beef, etc until you say stop. Vegatarians should avoid this place.
6) Broadripple - This is a particular neighborhood of Indianapolis that is known for having a long strip of bars. People from Michigan compare it to Royal Oak, but it's not as nice. The crowd is a little bit younger, but all and all, you can always find something to do there. It is about 6 miles north of downtown, but worth the trip if you plan on partying all night.
7) The Speedway - It's located out on the Westside. It would take you about 15 minutes from downtown to get there and I am told that they have tours daily.
8) Plump's Last Shot - This is a bar in Broadripple that is owned by Bobby Plump who is the real Jimmy Chittwood from the movie Hoosiers. The place isn't particularly nice, but it has numerous photos of the famous 1954 Milan high school team who won the state high school championship. You also could consider visiting Hinkle Fieldhouse which is less than 4 miles away.

If You Have Kids
1) Children's Museum - Is really great place for children. You could spend a whole day there and not see everything.
2) Indianapolis Zoo - It's smaller and more expensive than Detroit's. I would pass on it.

Friday - I will try to get a preview up in time for the game, but I can't promise as I will be at the Pep Rally tomorrow. I will also try to run down the games this weekend, but I'm not sure how much time I will have since I plan on attending most of them.

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