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Visiting Fan’s Guide: Where to Stay

Odds are no matter where you stay, your maid won't look like this

What’s that you say? You are undertaking the mythic journey of following your team to an away game against the Ball State Cardinals? Then you, my friend, are in for a treat. Do we have the pageantry of the Auburns and Alabamas? No. Do we have the coeds of the USCs and Arizona States? Unfortunately, no. Do we have the cultural explosion of a road game at Miami? Definitely not. You also don’t have excellent odds of ending up in a bathtub full of ice in a seedy motel missing a kidney. Life is all about trade offs.

So you’re venturing to Muncie and like any fan visiting a place for the first time, you head to the interwebs in search of a place to stay, some places to eat, what to expect, and what to do. And that, ladies and gents, is where your faithful team here at OTP comes into play. We’ve done the research and Lord knows drank and ate our way through Muncie so you don’t have to. Consider it a thank you gift in advance for the W your team gave us.

On today’s edition of the Visiting Fan’s Guide? Where you’ll rest your tired bones after a Ball State win.

To Hotel or not to Hotel. That is the Question.
Some places (not Muncie) are a vast array of places to stay depending on your budget, your desires, or your need for comfort or luxury. While we don’t have the Gameday Condos that so many SEC schools have, we do have a Best Western, and dammit, that’s enough. This isn’t a place with bed and breakfasts or hostels, so unless you know someone close by, the answer to the above is a resounding “Hotel”.

Your options for hotels sort of depend on what you are planning to do before and after the game. If you want to check out the campus, there’s only one hotel option for you. If you want to be close to the stadium, and in some cases, walking distance, there’s a few. If after the game you prefer some adults rather than college kids, then the downtown hotels are your best bet. Keep in mind that Muncie isn’t a giant metropolis, but the downtown hotels are the furthest away from the stadium and put you nowhere close to walking distance to either Scheumann Stadium or the campus itself. Let’s take a peak at what we have…

The On Campus Option
The Ball State Pittenger  Student Center Hotel

  • The Nitty Gritty: Granted, I have not been back to Muncie since they have completed the renovation of the Student Center, but in my opinion, however humble it may be, this is a great option. While not a spacious or luxurious hotel, the SC Hotel gets you on campus and within eyesight of the campus bars, should the bars be a place you would like to visit. Additionally, you have the Student Center at your disposal, with a bowling alley, pool tables, and a food court and Starbucks for your munchie needs. Some info about the SC Hotel can be found here, and I would highly advise booking those rooms as early as possible. They fill up fast and there isn’t a lot of them.
  • Pricing: Comparable to any other Muncie hotel to say the least. $115 for a suite, $65 for a king room. Definitely worth it.
  • Contact: To make reservations, call the front desk at 765-285-1555.

The Close to the Stadium Choices
The Nitty Gritty: If you want to be in a place that has nice amenities, a ton of rooms, and also is close to the football experience, then these are your best bets. Chain hotels for sure, but those are often the most reliable and predictable when venturing to a place that you’ve never been to. A final note is that the options listed below are in order based on their distance to the stadium. None are so far that it isn’t walkable, but keep in mind the order if proximity to the game is an important factor for you. All of the pricing info below was valid as of today for a potential reservation on October 9th weekend.

  • Best Western
    • Amenities: Free hot breakfast, free high speed internet, complimentary hot breakfast, pool, hot tub, fitness center… right across the street from the tailgate lots.
    • Pricing: King rooms will run you around $90 a night, smoking rooms (which they have) are considerably more.
    • Contact: (765) 282-0600‎ or reserve online here.
  • Lee’s Inn and Suites
    • Amenities: Indoor pool and spa, fitness center, free wifi, free hot breakfast
    • Pricing: King room will run you around $60 per night, but you can spring for the Presidential Suite at $139 with an in room jacuzzi tub.
    • Contact: (765) 282-7557
  • Days Inn
    • Amenities: Fitness center, free wireless internet, HBO.
    • Pricing: King rooms run around $65 per night, but the pricing is wonky and based on the amenities of the room. Some rooms have sofa beds, others don’t, so your mileage is definitely going to vary on this one depending on what you want/need.
    • Contact: (765) 288-2311 or book online here.
  • Super 8
    • Amenities: Free wireless internet, complimentary continental breakfast
    • Pricing: No Kings available, but a queen will run you $68 a night. Which seems like borderline highway robbery considering this hotel’s shape and status. Use this as your absolute last resort. Actually, in case Buffalo or Central Michigan fans ever feel the need to come to Muncie, this place is the bomb!
    • Contact: You shouldn’t contact them, but if you have to, their number is (765) 286-4333‎ and their website is here.
  • Signature Inn
    • Amenities: Fitness center, pool, complimentary in-room wifi, and a breakfast bar with Belgian waffles. That’s right… Belgian waffles.
    • Pricing: $80 per night for the King room. Not a bad deal considering there is BELGIAN WAFFLES.
    • Contact: Phone them at (765) 284-4200‎ or check out the website here.
  • Fairfield Inn
    • Amenities: Complimentary wifi, free breakfast.
    • Pricing: $90 per night.
    • Contact: (765) 282-6666‎ or view the website here.
  • Hampton Inn & Suites
    • Amenities: Pool, fitness room, internet. Basic business traveler’s kind of place.
    • Pricing: $137 per night.
    • Contact: (765) 288-8500 or book online here.
  • Comfort Inn
    • Amenities: Flat screen TVs, heated indoor pool, fitness center, free breakfast and wifi.
    • Pricing: $120 per night
    • Contact: (765) 587-0294‎ or book online here.

The Low Down on Downtown
For some, perhaps staying around a bevy of young alums or potential students is not their cup of tea. Hope that isn’t you as you travel to Muncie, as staying in a downtown hotel is going to not only make your stay there significantly not as fun, but also it’s going to be tough to do. Muncie used to have a fairly historic and rustic hotel in Hotel Roberts downtown, but alas that has closed. Your options outside of those listed above are very basic budget motels for travelers, and ones that I (in good conscience) can’t recommend to anyone coming to Muncie for a game.

The Edge Perspective
Our roving OTP Muncie Bureau Chief gave his thoughts as to the lodging options for those venturing to the Cardinals’ Nest for a game. What say you, Edge?

There are a few new budget hotels that opened up just about a half mile from the stadium on the northwest side. In addition, there are existing hotels in the area that are all moderately priced. Therefore, out-of-towners need not worry about lodging. While none are exactly the Waldorf Astoria, those fans of BSU (or their opponents) should be able to find some affordable lodging for games.

Who knows… if you’re nice maybe Edge will let you crash on his couch.

So What to Do?
Truthfully, it’s a matter of personal preference and whether or not you want to be around people, around the bars, or around beautiful downtown Muncie and it’s residents (that’s sarcasm). If you are hellbent on staying out by the stadium, Best Western for closeness or Comfort Inn for comfort would be my picks. However, my pick of choice, and it’s a tried and true tradition, is staying at the Ball State Student Center hotel. It’s a short drive to the stadium, a short drive back when you’re probably sober enough to do it after a 3 hour game, and it’s a short walk to the campus Village. Which is what we’ll get into in our next segment… where to eat!

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3 Responses

  1. Your #1 listing is by far and away the best. I’ve been going to our games since 1975 and tried about every venue that’s come and gone since that time and The Pitt’ has remained THE best and most consistant option. BTW…I’m already booked for the those first two night games…did so when the sched’ was first released.

  2. By the Pitt, he’s referring to The Pittenger Student Center and the hotel within it, lest we confuse our visiting fans.

  3. Good recap. You forgot the Holiday Inn Express out near the Fairfield/Hampton/etc., though.

    Muncie had a nice B&B back in the 90s just east of campus, on Wayne St. Stayed there once a couple years after graduation. It likely went out of business because it was right across the street from the Cardinal Corners Apartments, and most folks that stay at B&Bs don’t want to hear college keggers all night.

    I miss the Roberts… that was a really nice hotel and a great location for a short stumble home from the Heorot or Doc’s.

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