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  • Writer's pictureMarc Viquez

Scheumann Stadium – Ball State Cardinals


Photos by Marc Viquez, Stadium Journey


Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.29

Scheumann Stadium 2800 W Bethel Ave Muncie, IN 47306


Ball State Cardinals website

Scheumann Stadium website


Year Opened: 1967

Capacity: 22,500

 

Chirp! Chirp! Ball State Football

Scheumann Stadium opened in 1967 and since its debut has expanded to a 22,500-seat stadium for the Ball State Cardinals football program. The stadium has undergone a few changes during the last decade that included $13.7 million in renovations that resulted in a new lighting system, concession stands, FieldTurf, an enlarged press box, and a new video board. Another improvement was enclosing the north end zone seating area that includes open grass seating.


These changes have not changed the intimate atmosphere that a visitor would have when attending a football contest at Ball State. The Cardinals play in the Mid-American Conference (MAC), and depending on the weather or opponent, the cozy and relaxed atmosphere could be the perfect recipe for a wonderful Saturday afternoon in Muncie, Indiana.



Food & Beverage 3

Walking around underneath the main grandstand, one would find the majority of the stadium’s concessions. The prices are fairly affordable and feature your basic stadium cuisine of pizza, hot dogs, and nachos. For a discounted price, you can purchase a combo that includes a hot dog, bag of chips, and pop or you can enjoy a brat or a barbecue pork sandwich. The jalapeno and cheddar brats are worth a visit, and like many of the other options, are cooked on an open grill.


Peruse the game day program and you’ll find that the university lists other concession items that include Chick-fil-A sandwiches, corn dogs, pork tenderloins, elephant ears, and walking tacos.


Atmosphere 4

The atmosphere is dictated by many factors, including the weather, the opponent, and promotion. When the stadium is packed, it is rocking, as it was for our visit during a beautiful early fall game on parents’ weekend. The parking lot was packed with alumni tailgating in their vans and cars, while the student body seemed to be having more fun at the grass parking lot hours before kickoff.


It was a festive mood at Charlestown, an area hosted by the alumni association for select games, on the northwest side of the Alumni Center. A few food trucks are set up, along with craft beer taps. The Ball State marching band and cheer squad entertain a few lucky fans in the parking lot who had a front-row seat from their folding chairs.


Once inside, the stadium is separated into three seating sections, plus a grass area at the back of the north end zone. The stadium features a majority of bleacher-style seating from the main concourse to the student section. All of the concessions are underneath the main concourse, along with historic photos of the program’s past and championship banners. It is a very functional stadium that offers a few aesthetics to make it stand out from other mid-sized venues of college football.


The grass lawn area in the north end zone is the focal point of the venue. It features a basic but functional electronic scoreboard and the school’s iconic pillars. This area fills up during the early parts of the season when the skies are blue, and the sun is shining. During warmer weather games, a Kid’s Zone is set up with inflatable rides and face-painting tables.


Charlie Cardinal is an entertaining and impressive college mascot. During the game, he can be seen on the field with the cheerleaders, leading the band after a touchdown and starting the school chant, ”The Chirp.”


When the opposing team is on third down, the student section will move their hands up and down chanting “chirp, chirp, chirp.” It’s a tradition that began in 2004 and was modeled after similar ones at Purdue and Indiana University. Rituals are an important part of the college football game day, and this one is perfect for the Ball State Cardinal fan base.


Neighborhood 3

Scheumann Stadium is located right off the main campus and a few miles away from the village area of town. The area can become somewhat congested at times with mall shoppers, but there are a few ideal locations to seek out before or after the game.


Downtown Muncie has changed a bit in the past few years, and Elm Street Brewing Company, located in a former ice house from 1999, is worth the visit for its food and decor, but they also serve craft beer. A recommendation for lunch or dinner includes the pitmaster pie with Coca-Cola barbecue, smoked gouda, smoked chicken, house bacon, and brisket, or the Gonzo, a fried chicken breast top with spicy bacon jam, cheddar cheese, and egg on a homemade biscuit.


Amazing Joe’s, Savage Ale House, and Sitara Indian Restaurants are other options in town. A cheap eat location is the B&K Drive-In which features car service and a menu that offers Spanish dogs, coneys, homemade root beer, and barbecue pork and brisket that is made on site.


A few more places to grab a pint include The Guardian Brewing Company, Twin Archer Brewpub, and Heorot Pub & Draught House. You might be able to grab a bite at these places, but enjoy a couple of pints if you can; they are worth the visit when it’s a town for a Cardinals game.


Fans 4

They chant “The Chirp,” but you will likely see less tailgating, barbecuing, or tossing cornhole before the game. Inside the stadium, the student section is lively, with the band performing adjacent to them during the four quarters. In this area, you can see some fans with signage, face painting, and a lot of cheers. On the other side at the main concourse, there are a few die-hard fans who do their best to cheer on the hometown Cardinals.


Access 3

Scheumann Stadium is relatively simple to reach from I-69. Local police guide cars into the various lots surrounding the stadium. On busier weekends such as parent or alumni day, some of the main roads are closed to the stadium. However, there are plenty of surrounding lots that offer $5 parking and are within walking distance of the stadium.


It should also be noted that lines were long for concession stands, resulting in a 30-40 minute wait for food and beverage. This could be due to the recent shortage of help in our country during the pandemic.


Return on Investment 4

The price for single-game general admission tickets is $15 (advanced) / $20 (game day) for adults, and reserve tickets are $25. Kids' tickets are $10. If interested, a Kid’s Club membership is $35 and allows kids into all Ball State athletic games for free, plus many benefits for kids and their parents.


A popular option is the Metazoa Ball and Brew Pack which consists of one general admission ticket and two of their beers for $20 when purchased in advance – it increases to $30 on game day. If you know of your plans ahead of time, it might be worth looking into this if a fan of craft beer or a good deal.


The game day prices are comparable with other football programs in the Mid-American Conference. The parking is $10 in the purple lot, but there is $5 parking at multiple spots southeast of the stadium. There is no charge to park at the Worthen Arena and the Cardinal and Creek lot.


Extras 3

Scheumann Stadium receives two additional stars for the enclosed grass seating behind the north end zone and the student section chanting “The Chirp” on third downs. The Family Zone is a fine addition on the grassy hill that includes bouncy houses and facing paint for the little fans in attendance.


Final Thoughts

Scheumann Stadium can be a fun outing for mid-major college football. The atmosphere in the parking lot is festive, the ticket prices affordable, and the fan participation quite energetic. True, it might depend on what time of the season you attend a Ball State game but choose wisely – you should have a good time. Chirp! Chirp!


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Follow all of Marc’s stadium journeys on Twitter @ballparkhunter and his YouTube channel. Email at Marc.Viquez@stadiumjourney.com


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