Stadium Journey: Purdue Basketball's Mackey Arena
This review originally posted on www.stadiumjourney.com
FANFARE Score: 22 (out of 35)
Food and Beverage: 2
Not much here, and certainly not anything to write home about. Hot dogs, etc., can be found, and Coca-Cola products are offered. I did appreciate that they had souvenir cups availablealways an easy way to take home a keepsake.
This is Indiana, and although Mackey lacks the charm of Hinkle Fieldhouse and the history of Assembly Hall in Bloomington, it still has that Indiana basketball feel. It’s a single bowl design with a raised floor, so sightlines are good no matter where you sit. I wish the students were a little closer to the action, as they feel somewhat removed.
The band rates as average by Big Ten standards.
The one can’t-miss attraction has got to be Harry’s Chocolate Shop. When I arrived it was 10:45 a.m.time for a drink. Our choice was a Boilermaker. Neither I nor my friend knew exactly what that was, but we figured this was the place to try one (it’s a shot of whiskey inside a beer, by the way). We had another beer and an order of homemade potato chips covered with Gorgonzola cheese.
Next, we decided to see a different venue in the city. Unfortunately, the other bars in the area were either closed or lacked any personality. So we found our way back to Harry’s for a sandwich and another beer. I would like to highly recommend Harry’s as a great place to come for a beer and some food when in West Lafayette. The downstairs section just oozes character, and I especially appreciated the "Ass Hole of the Week" picture, displayed in a toilet seat above the bar.
I was lucky to see the fans with plenty of opportunities to be raucous. Coach Matt Painter received a technical foul to the end the half, which threw the crowd into a frenzy, and in the second half Michigan’s Manny Harris connected with an elbow to Chris Kramer’s nose, leaving behind a pool of bloodand some ramped-up Boiler fans.
It is clear that these fans love basketball and love their team.
I was able to find free parking about a half mile from the arena, and it was a breeze to get in and out of the arena and back on the road.
Return on Investment: 4
With great sightlines throughout, and reasonable prices, a trip to Mackey is well worth the investment. Parking is free and prices at neighborhood restaurants and bars are a good value. They team has been in or near the top 10 in the country for the past few yearsall the more reason to go to a game now.
One point for the historically significant honoring of players who were consensus All-Americans with their numbers hung in the rafters, including legends such as Glenn Robinson, Joe Barry Carroll, Rick Mount, and John Wooden.
Another point for the raised floor, something I just love.
Paul Swaney is the Co-Founder of Stadium Journey.
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