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CBK: Northwestern at Indiana

26 February 2009 No Comment

One sporting event attendance goal I have is to attend a Northwestern game at all of the Big Ten football and basketball venues. However, I have not made this a priority over the years. Usually other, higher priority sporting events occur the same day or weekend when Northwestern is at a Big Ten school or I am too lazy to make the drive. Each school in the Big Ten is at least at 2 hour drive away. Here are the following distances and driving times from Chicago (according to Google Maps):

0) Evanston, IL – 14 miles or 0:27
1) Lafayette, IN – 127 miles or 2:13
2) Champaign, IL – 139 miles or 2:22
3) Madison, WI – 147 miles or 2:34
4) Iowa City, IA – 222 miles or 3:45
5) East Lansing, MI – 223 miles or 3:41
6) Bloomington, IN – 234 miles or 4:17
7) Ann Arbor, MI – 242 miles or 3:57
8) Columbus, OH – 357 miles or 5:47
9) Minneapolis, MN – 408 miles or 6:46
10) University Park, PA – 569 miles or 9:26

Yesterday, with no other major events taking place in Chicago and a relatively early start time (6:30 pm ET), I decided to make the 4+ hour drive to Bloomington, IN to watch Northwestern play Indiana at Assembly Hall.

Obtaining Tickets
Before leaving for Bloomington, I looked on Indiana’s website and noticed that they were selling Balcony Level seats for $5 each. With a four hour drive ahead of me, I chose to buy a ticket through ticketmaster.com rather than wait to arrive at Assembly Hall. Even with Indiana having its worst year on record, the piece of mind was worth the $9.90 all-in price.

Pre Game Dining
I arrived in Bloomington about an hour before tip-off. I drove through campus and found Yogi’s Bar and Grill at 519 E. 10th St. On Wednesday nights, they have a $1.75 domestic draft special. In addition, I found out I could leave my car in their parking lot and walk to Assembly Hall. The walk was about 10-15 minutes and saved me the hassle of driving through traffic and paying $10 for that right.

As I approached the ticket office to claim my ticket from Will Call, a few fans asked me if I needed a ticket. One guy wanted $20, the next guy $5. I could have saved $5 on my ticket but then I may never have discovered the free parking.

The Game
Northwestern defeated Indiana in Bloomington for the first time since 1968 which included 35 straight losses – 32 of those coming at Assembly Hall. Meaning this was Northwestern’s first win EVER at Assembly Hall. It was also Northwestern’s biggest road win (by points) since they defeated the University of Chicago by 57 points in 1944.

Assembly Hall
Assembly Hall does not look like your typical basketball arena – rather than a complete circle it concaves on side of the court’s baselines and the balcony seats are extremely high. Rather than sit in the balcony, I sat in the middle level where there were many empty seats.

Post Game Road Trip
After the game I made the trip back to Chicago with, of course, a road trip stop at Dairy Queen along the way. No road trip is complete without a DQ run.

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