Memorial Stadium - Indiana Hoosiers
Photos by Marc Viquez, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.29
Memorial Stadium 1001 E 17th St Bloomington, IN 47408
Year Opened: 1960
The Rock of the Indiana Hoosiers
Memorial Stadium, ‘The Rock’, is the home to the Indiana University football program. The stadium was dedicated in 1960 and renovated and expanded multiple times, including the north end enclosed to increase capacity to 52,929.
The classical-looking horseshoe-shaped stadium incorporates synthetic turf and limestone construction from nearby southern Indiana rock quarries. The area of the state is known for possessing some of the world’s best limestone. The campus features ornate limestone entrances, and Memorial Stadium fits in magnificently with the aesthetics of the campus buildings.
Football has been played on campus since 1899 and is overshadowed by the basketball program; however, a day at Memorial Stadium might make a nice little treat for your college football appetite.
Food & Beverage 3
You will find traditional game day food throughout the concourse, including hot dogs, footlong hot dogs, brats, nachos, popcorn, and Coca-Cola products. A few concession stands serve Papa John’s pizza and on the west concourse, Chick-fil-A sandwiches are offered with condiments.
The longest lines are for the Ben’s Pretzel kiosk that bakes giant pretzels on the spot. Another area that attracts a large crowd is the kettle corn stand that also makes their product on the premise. The Honey Baked Ham Company kiosk offers ham, turkey, and pulled pork sandwiches. The Chocolate Moose kiosk sells 7-varieties of ice cream, and frozen lemonade and mini-donuts are available.
Beer was introduced at the stadium in 2019 and includes a limit of two per person. All sales end with 20 minutes left in regulation play. The varieties include Coors Light, Bud Light, and Miller Lite. The local Upland Brewing includes Dragonfly IPA and Wheat Ale, and Vizzy Hard Seltzers come in various varieties.
Certain games bring out the masses to Memorial Stadium. Games against Michigan, Ohio State, Michigan State, and in-state rivals Purdue will see an influx of crowds gathered throughout the massive seating structures.
During the game, the Hoosier Nation has certain traditions that fall in line with many other college programs. The Third Down Shark Chomp is performed whenever the Hoosiers are on defense and need a stop on third down. Fans are prompted to make noise and do the shark chomp. The school’s fight song is played after every touchdown and sparks pride and passion from the fans.
Many enjoy tailgating in the grass-covered lots before, during, and after the game. You will find folks tossing footballs or bags for cornhole games, barbecue pits, and copious crushed cans of beer. The fans march into the stadium in large groups sporting school colors.
The Hoosier Red Zone on the north concourse offers younger fans a place to toss a football, take pictures with cardboard cutouts, shoot hoops, and play a few games. The USS Indiana’s two gun masts, prow, and mainmast are on display outside the west entrance.
The stadium sits on campus, offering numerous choices for eating, drinking, and shopping within 1-2 miles. Mother Bear’s is highly recommended by any resident of Bloomington. Their pizza has a unique sweet sauce, but be patient since parking is scarce and limited.
Lennie’s is another local restaurant, with a lot more parking, featuring tasty sandwiches, pizza, and stromboli. They also serve beers from the Bloomington Brewery Company. Grab a Ruby Bloom Amber and you will see what is meant by a great craft beer.
The heart of Bloomington is Kirkwood Ave., and the street features two local institutions, Nick’s English Hut and Kilroy’s. The square features various shops, bars, and restaurants. One time-honored tradition is to play the drinking game Sink the Biz at Nick’s.
A great idea on a warm afternoon is a visit to Oliver Winery. The beautiful gardens of flowers, water fountains, and picnic areas around the lake make this a romantic spot for couples or a great place to enjoy wine with friends. One of the best places for wine in the entire state.
It might be a basketball college, but they also love their football team. The fans can be heard talking about the game during halftime, whether it is complaining about a few calls or how their home team could have found ways to muster a few more points on the board. The football program has given its fans a few reasons to cheer and play in the Big Ten against midwest rivals. The Hoosier faithful can compete against the boys from Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio State, and their arch-rivals from Purdue.
It is one of the easiest stadiums to access in the Big Ten. Memorial Stadium is located on 17th Street, less than a mile from the 45/36 exit. There are no signs off the state road, but trust your GPS, and you should have no trouble.
Return on Investment 3
The ticket prices range from $30-$70 for adult tickets and $15-$20 for youth tickets (under 18). You might be able to purchase tickets slightly lower on secondary ticket websites, and certain opponents can up the price during the season. The parking lots outside the stadium are pre-paid and cost $30. There are make-shift private lots across the street that are also the same.
Another option is to take advantage of the free shuttle bus that takes off the east side of College Mall at 3068 East 3rd Street. The price of food is reasonable, with alcoholic drinks fetching anywhere between $9-$10 and a hot dog costing no more than $4.
One point is given to IU, allowing Assembly Hall and the team store inside it to open on football game days. As a fan that travels to sports venues, it is quite the treat to walk inside the legendary facility on a non-basketball game day.
Many visiting fans shared my beliefs and accompanied me on my walk around Assembly Hall. I appreciate IU giving tourists like me the opportunity to see a football game at Memorial Stadium and then take an open tour of Assembly Hall.
A second point is for Hep’s Rock in the back of the endzone in the north end. The giant piece of limestone serves as both a symbolic piece and a memorial to former football coach Terry Hoepner. Players touch the rock before entering the field of play before battling it out on the gridiron to “Defend the Rock”.
The final point is for the US Navy ship parts displayed outside the stadium. The USS Indiana saw action in the Pacific theater in World War II, and its two gun masts have been on display since 1966. It was reunited with the ship’s prow and mainmast for an impressive display before the game.
It is a great little town to visit for the weekend, and with football, wineries, and nightlife, you cannot go wrong with a visit.