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Official Review by Paul Swaney, Stadium Journey Co-Founder
In 2008, the new home for Michigan State soccer hosted its first game. The venue is located behind historic Jenison Field House, alongside McLane Baseball Stadium and Secchia Stadium, home of MSU softball.
The soccer stadium, DeMartin Soccer Complex, was named for the DeMartin family, who contributed $750,000 toward the facility’s construction. DeMartin Soccer Complex offers Spartan soccer fans with a comfortable, but basic stadium experience. The venue has a capacity of 2,500, with a natural grass playing field.
In its short history, DeMartin Soccer Complex has hosted six NCAA tournament games. The Michigan State soccer program has claimed two co-national championships, in 1967 and 1968, and has appeared in 16 NCAA tournaments. You can expect a high level of collegiate soccer, in a comfortable stadium on Michigan State’s beautiful campus when you make the trip to East Lansing.
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Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".
There is one main concession stand that serves the softball, baseball, and soccer stadiums. It is centrally located and offers a surprisingly large selection for a college soccer match, and with better than usual quality. That said, if you attend a lot of college soccer matches, then you may be surprised with some of the pricing.
Main entrees include hot dogs ($4), bratwursts ($5), hamburgers ($6), cheeseburgers ($7), chicken sandwich ($6), cheese quesadilla ($4), and veggie burgers ($6). You can make it a combo meal with a large 32-ounce drink and fries, and save $1 on the overall cost, so it's a good deal only if you want a large pop and fries to go with your sandwich.
Other snacks and sweets include caramel corn ($4), popcorn ($4), soft pretzels ($4), nachos ($4), and candy ($3).
Pepsi products are poured from the fountain machine with mediums being $4 and large size at $5. You can also grab a bottle of water ($4), Gatorade ($5), or Rock Star energy drink ($5). For the cold autumn days, grab a coffee, hot chocolate, or cappuccino ($3 each). Put your hot drink or pop in a souvenir mug for just $7 and go home with a keepsake of your visit to East Lansing.
Almost all fans sit on the west side of the stadium in the lone seating area, which is comprised of metal bleachers with average legroom. If you have a blanket or seat cushion, this is a good venue to bring such accessories with you.
There is some standing room behind the north goal, but the views are partially obstructed and don't provide the best vantage point. Fans of the visiting team tend to sit in the northern end of the grand stand, across the field from the visiting team bench. Likewise, the vocal Michigan State student section sits opposite the Spartans bench.
There is only one basic scoreboard, located just beyond the Michigan State bench. It serves its purpose, displaying time, score, corner kicks, shots on goal, and period. If you're new to college soccer, you'll notice that the clock counts down from 45 minutes each half, and there is no added time, although the clock will stop based on the referee's discretion.
Your first stop in East Lansing should always be Harrison Roadhouse. They have fantastic burgers, and a good beer selection.
Another favorite is the Dublin Square Pub. It is a slightly upscale version of your Irish pub, with a beautiful bar and good food.
There are plenty of hotels in the area, but it's a good idea to book well in advance depending on what is happening at Michigan State when you visit, especially if it is a football weekend. The Howard Johnson on Trowbridge Road is adequate for your stay.
Other options in the neighborhood include a trip to the Michigan State Capitol building, about three miles to the west.
Basketball fans should walk over to the Breslin Center, and get a picture with the bronze statue of Magic Johnson.
The Michigan State soccer fans are an impressive lot. They are knowledgeable of the game, and energetic throughout the match. The student section is especially good. You can expect chants, singing, and the beating of drums from the first whistle to the last.
Parking can be surprisingly difficult when traveling to a Michigan State soccer game. The Breslin Center, home to MSU basketball, has abundant parking available, but you'll have to walk a bit. Your best bet is the Kellogg Hotel & Conference Center parking garage located at 219 S Harrison Rd. Exit through the back of the garage and you'll be just a short walk away from DeMartin Stadium, across the Red Cedar River. Limited parking is also available near Jenison Fieldhouse. You may be able to find free parking around the campus if you have time to spare. It's a good chance to tour the campus prior to the game.
After the game, you should be able to quickly exit and find US 127 which heads north/south in whatever direction you need to go.
It's easy enough to move around the facility, but the standing room areas are less than adequate. Most fans will find a spot in the bleachers and stay there for the entirety of the game. Get your concession items early and find your seat.
Restrooms are located in the same building as the concession stand. They are large enough to handle the soccer crowds with no queues, and are adequately clean and warm.
Tickets are very reasonable for a Michigan State game at DeMartin Stadium. All seats are general admission with adult tickets costing $5. Youth tickets (age 8-17) are just $3, as are seniors. Kids under age 8 can enter for free. Soccer is generally a good event for kids and families, with constant movement, and a match that will end in under two hours. If you're looking for a family sporting event in the area, this would be a good choice. Food prices are a little on the high side, but the quality is good. Parking is inexpensive or free depending on your willingness to walk, and take the time to drive around and look. Overall, this experience is priced correctly for what you get.
If you're able to attend the match when Michigan comes to visit, this will provide you with the best experience possible. You can expect the fans to be at their rowdiest, and the match to be hard fought.
I attended on a day where the program held a "score on Sparty" contest during halftime. Fifty or so kids came down on the field to try a penalty kick on the iconic Michigan State mascot. The kids were thrilled by the opportunity, and it was fun to watch.
One extra point for the redevelopment of the historic space known as "Old College Field." The site dates back to 1902 as an original home of "Aggies athletics" (the school's nickname before they adopted Spartans in 1925). It's a great site, and the combination of the three new facilities for soccer, softball, and baseball are a beautiful addition to the athletic complexes of the university.
DeMartin Stadium is a wonderful place to see college soccer in the Great Lakes region. The modern, but modest facility on the site of Old College Field is a fantastic addition to the Michigan State athletics venues, and is worth a visit for avid soccer fans, or families looking for an affordable sports experience.
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122 N Harrison Rd
East Lansing, MI 48823
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1100 Trowbridge Rd
East Lansing, MI 48823