Review originally published on www.stadiumjourney.com
With the success that Michigan State has had over the past 20 years, it’s easy to see why the fans have become a ravenous crew. With high expectations and a devoted following, it’s easy to see why the Breslin Center is a great place to catch a college basketball game.
FANFARE Score: 25
Food & Beverage: 3
The food is pretty ordinary, although I did find a smoked turkey drumstick that was very good. Something about having a big stick of meat on the bone while you watch sports really gets you in touch with your inner-man.
To me, the most interesting and exciting aspect of the Breslin Center is the way that the student section wraps around the floor to create the “Izzone”. They give their students the very best seats, and the students pay back by being great fans. MSU also has a very good pep band that, clearly, adds to the frenzy of it all. The director had a very good grasp on when to play something to rile the crowd, and all of the selections seemed less formulaic than most Big Ten arenas.
Before the game, I found myself at the Harrison Roadhouse, about a mile from the Breslin Center. I figured the Big Ten burger was the appropriate choice, and I was able to substitute in buffalo meat, which was nice. I enjoyed a Bell’s Amber on tap.
After the game I stopped into Dublin Square, a slightly upscale Irish Pub. I had a corn beef sandwich, and a couple of beers, including a Black &Gold- similar to a Black & Tan, but made with Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and Guinness. Quite good.
The wind was blowing pretty good, but since it was still early, I decided to take a lap around the facility. Even though it was cold, I was glad that I did. I ran into the statue of Magic Johnson on the other side of the building, and ended up at the gate for the student entrance.
I was impressed with the crowd waiting to get in. These people were already into it- and we were still almost 2 hours from tip off. It was a very impressive group of students.
I drove around a bit trying to find the appropriate lot, and ended up in a parking garage maybe a half-mile away. The venue seems a lot smaller once you are in the concourse, and bathrooms are plentiful enough.
Return on Investment: 3
As with most college basketball experiences, the price is well worth the cost to see a game. I was disappointed that there weren’t more souvenir shops with anything worth buying though.
I was lucky to be there for the retirement of Morris Peterson’s #42. The drumstick was worth an extra point, and I just loved the overall feel of sitting in the stands watching a good team and being surrounded by knowledgeable fans.
The Breslin Center overall is a good place to see a game, but more for the ardent fans than for the facility itself. The architecture is rather bland with a lot of interior concrete, and I feel as though the seats are too spread back, making it seem larger than it really is.
Paul Swaney is the Co-Founder of Stadium Journey