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The Ultimate Buckeye Tailgate

Illinois Fighting Illini

Cletusfest Gameday Information


School Details:

Team Site
Visitors Guide (incl. Lodging)
Stadium/Parking Info

Fan Websites:

Illini Nation
Writing Illini

Big Ten School Review

The co-founders of CletusFest have attended football games at every Big Ten Stadium. Although each school visit includes great memories, we thought it would be helpful for Buckeye fans to know what they were getting themselves into when considering a Big Ten road trip. Our Rating is based on a Five Point Scale (5 being best):

Overall Rating: **

Memorial Stadium

This stadium might have the most impressive architectural design in the Big Ten. With the appearance of the Roman Coliseum, Memorial Stadium has the potential to be an imposing place to play. Like most schools, the fans are up when the team is winning. Otherwise, it is a pretty quiet place.


The Illini fans know their football, and definitely enjoy themselves before and after the game. Although they are not crazy like some schools, it is a nice day of football fun with these folks.


The locals really know how to lay out a spread. Good food, plenty of music, and a generally well represented group of tailgaters. Parking for visitors is located in a huge parking lot, but is a bit of a walk to the stadium.

Nightlife/City Atmosphere

While the football experience is good, the city of Champagne is nothing to write home about. There are a limited number of drinking holes and not a whole lot of choices for food.

View From the Other Side

Cletusfest has polled Illinois Alumni about their city, and here are their thoughts on what you should check out in Champaign:

What are the Top 5 Restaurants?

The Ribeye
What Landmarks / Important Things Should a Visitor check out around town or on campus?
Alma Mater
The University Quad
The Undergrad (Underground) Library Student Union and Campus Town
Krannert Center for Perfoming Arts
Assembly Hall (basketall)
Curtis Orchard (apples)

Name the Top Hotels to Stay

Holiday Inn, Hilton (in 2009)
Hawthorne Suites

What is the Best Bar for Alumni?

On Campus- Murphys; Off campus: Rocks (close-by); Downtown Champaign-Guidos

What is the Best Bar for Visiting Fans?

Close to Campus-Jillian's; Downtown Champaign-Guidos

What is the Best Bar for Getting Your Drink On?

On Campus-KAMS and COD's (Frat bars)

What are the best Game Day Traditions?

The Illini Marching Band
Chief Illiniwek at halftime

Where should a Visitor Park on Game Day?

Visitors tend to park more SE of the Football Stadium in the open lots

Where should a Visitor go to Tailgate?

Visitors also tailgate on the SE end of the Football Stadium in the open lots

OSU Football Schedule

Date Opponent Details
09/02/23 @ Indiana W 23-3
09/09/23 Youngstown State W 35-7
09/16/23 Western Kentucky W 63-10
09/23/23 @ Notre Dame W 17-14
10/07/23 Maryland W 37-17
10/14/23 @ Purdue W 41-7
10/21/23 Penn State W 20-12
10/28/23 @ Wisconsin W 24-10
11/04/23 @ Rutgers W 35-16
11/11/23 Michigan State W 38-3
11/18/23 Minnesota W 37-3
11/25/23 @ scUM 12:00pm

How Firm Thy Friendship


OSU Football Stadium
Tailgate table with alcohol
Tailgate photo of people
Tailgating cars
Tailgate photo of people
Tailgate photo of people

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