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Official Review by Paul Swaney, Stadium Journey Co-Founder
Lansing United began play in 2014 as a part of the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL). The club had a very successful inaugural campaign winning the Great Lakes Conference Midwest region, and advancing to the NPSL finals. Their home is Archer Stadium, part of the East Lansing Soccer Complex. The field, known as Rosen Field, is well manicured. Seating is simple, but when you get a full house, the supporters take this simple experience to a fun night out. Occasionally the club will also play home games at Michigan State's DeMartin Soccer Complex, so be sure to check the website so you arrive at the correct venue.
The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:
Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".
Hungry Howie's pizza is the star of the concession selection, found inside the Kevin A. Kelly Family Pavilion. While you'll find other basics to keep you satisfied, none of it is fantastic, so it is best to eat before the game.
Hungry Howie's offers slices of pizza for $2.50 or whole pies for $15. You can also opt for Howie's bread, cheese bread or cinnamon bread ($2.50-$3). Hot dogs ($3), nachos ($4), popcorn ($1), and chips are also available. Fans with a sweet tooth can go for cotton candy ($2.50) or candy bars ($1.50).
Drink options include pop ($1.50), Gatorade ($2), and bottled water ($1.50). No alcohol is served. The addition of a craft brewing presence would really add to the food and beverage experience.
Pizza is the way to go here, although your best bet is to go to Jimmy's Pub before the game for a more substantial meal.
The key to the atmosphere at Archer Stadium is the ability to get so close to the action, and the energy created by the supporters section.
All of the seating is metal bleachers, lined up right against the sideline opposite the team benches. Fans can also bring their own folding chairs or a blanket and set up along the field. If you can do it, this is a great option and puts you right on top of the game.
The scoreboard is very basic with just the time and score displayed.
At halftime, kids (or adult kids) can come on to the field, and for a dollar they get a shot at a pop up goal to win a slice of pizza. It's a very minor promotion, but the kids enjoy it.
If you can, bring your own chair to sit along the sideline. If not, then come early and grab a seat in the bleachers as close to the Sons of Ransom supporter section as possible.
Archer Stadium is located behind the Block 36 Apartment complex.There is limited signage, but look for signs for the East Lansing Soccer Complex, or keep an eye out for the stadium lights rising above the residential buildings.
The place to go before or after the game is definitely Jimmy's Pub, the official pub of the Sons of Ransom supporters. They have a great selection of food, beers, and plenty of TVs to keep up with the day's sporting events. If you want to grab a cup of coffee on a cold night, there is a Tim Horton's location nearby as well.
Archer Stadium is about four miles north of the Michigan State University campus. On the weekends you may find other sporting events to combine with your trip to see LanU.
If you're staying in the area overnight, there is a Holiday Inn Express located less than a mile from the East Lansing Soccer Complex, with rates beginning around $100 per night.
Great soccer fans can raise up the atmosphere of a venue perhaps better than any other spectator sport. The fans at a Lansing United game really make this experience special. Sit among, or even near, the Sons of Ransom supporters group and you are sure to have a good time. Keep in mind though that not all of their language would be considered PG.
Games get pretty close to selling out, but you don't need to purchase your tickets in advance. The small seating capacity of just 800 is perfect for the fan base that comes to support their club.
The Sons of Ransom will chant, yell, and sing throughout the entire game. They may be a new supporters group, but they are well organized and lively.
There are approximately 250 parking spaces located right next to Archer Stadium. With so few people coming to games it is easy to get in and out of the venue, and best of all, parking is free.
If you are taking public transportation, the 26 bus has a stop just outside the venue on Coleman Road. Check the CATA site for route information.
Moving around the stadium is very easy. With seating only on one side of the field, everything is within close proximity. Restrooms are located in the Kelly Pavilion just past the concessions.
It is definitely worth the cost to attend a Lansing United game.
Single game tickets are just $5 for adults, and $3 for children. With free parking and reasonable concessions, you can have a great night of sports action for a very low price.
If you live in the area, consider getting season tickets. For just $65 you gain entry to each home game (eight games), along with a supporters scarf.
This is a large soccer complex, with several fields used by youth clubs. If you're coming to a game with kids, then consider bringing a ball with you to kick around if the young ones get restless.
There is plenty of Lansing United merchandise for sale in case you want to go home with a souvenir.
Overall, a trip to Archer Stadium to see a Lansing United game is a great choice. The atmosphere is outstanding and the intimacy of the venue really heightens the overall experience.
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16804 Chandler Rd
East Lansing, MI 48823
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2924 West Rd
East Lansing, MI 48823