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Does your college town suck? The University of Illinois

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Champaign? More like Natural Light in a can...

New to the line up this season: we will be examining the various college towns of Wisconsin’s opponents. We’ll be answering all of the important questions – Is it a state capital? What is the population? Does it have a Culver’s?

Facts:

City: Champaign, Ill.

Size: 22.98 square miles

Location: 40°06′54″N 88°16′22″W

Population: 88,302 (2020)

State Capital? No

Time zone: Central

Landmarks: A bunch of fraternity houses and a labyrinth

About:

Originally founded in 1855, Champaign was originally known as West Urbana, after the Illinois Central Railroad had laid it’s tracks two miles outside of Urbana, Ill. Just five years later in 1860, the city changed its name to Champaign when the city acquired a charter. The university was founded just seven years later in 1867.

The name came from Champaign County, Ohio. Which is really nowhere near Champaign, Illinois...

Much like Minneapolis and St. Paul, Urbana and Champaign are considered twin cities, but not the hot kind of twins. Champaign is located in roughly the middle of the hellscape, known as Illinois. If you have ever had to drive south through the less-than great state of Illinois, you know that it is very long and very boring.

Apparently if you stop in Champaign, it is best to roll the windows up and lock the doors… Champaign was given a D- overall crime grade from crimegrade.com. Champaign is in the 11th percentile, meaning that 89% of the cities in the country are safer and 11% are more dangerous.

WOW.

Apparently a crime occurs every hour, 33 minutes on average in Champaign. Good lord! What the hell is happening there?

In looking at the local landmarks in Champaign, it looks like most of them are just old buildings, like fraternity houses, what do I look like Frank Lloyd Wright? BORING. However, thanks to planetware.com, I found a list of 12 top-rated things to do in Champaign-Urbana.

Toward the top of the list is Crystal Lake Park, which is the crown jewel of the Urbana Park District. It has dense urban forest, scenic surroundings and many community attractions. Of the attractions, is a family aquatic center, the Anita Purves Nature Center, playgrounds, picnic areas and a landscaped brick labyrinth???

Oh great, is the Goblin King abducting babies in Champaign? At least that would explain the crime rate.

Bars:

No matter which list I have looked at of the best bars in Champaign, one bar is mentioned on all lists – the Blind Pig, which has two locations in Champaign; on Walnut St and on N Neil St.

Per their website, somebody dubbed them, ‘the beer of champaign.’ Given that it is the best beer in Champaign, Ill., how good could it really be? Undoubtedly, the Blind Pig sounds exactly like the type of establishment that Bret Bielema would frequent on occasion…

If you are someone that enjoys cats, the Bind Pig actually has Brewster the Brew Cat, who appears to live at the brewery? He is said to be their cute but deadly Beer Purrtector. Haha… puns. However, everyone knows that dogs are better.

Fans of one of the best fast food restaurants in the world will be happy to know that there are three Culver’s located in the twin cities or Champaign and Urbana.

Stadium:

Memorial Stadium has been the home stadium for the University of Illinois since 1923 and holds 62,872 people. The lower level of the stadium forms a horseshoe and the upper decks are on both sides of the field. Memorial Stadium has a 125 foot wide by 54 foot tall HD video/scoreboard, which was installed prior to the 2013 season.

In 2006, a $116 million renovation began that was completed prior to the 2008 season. The renovation added a new press box, luxury suites, 10,000 seats on the north side of the stadium, connecting the south end zone to the east and west grandstands, renovating the concourses and moving the main video/scoreboard.

After all that, it stills looks like that?

The Chicago Bears called Memorial Stadium home for a season back in 2002. I would say the stadium finally got a chance to be home to a real football team, but it’s the Bears, so I don’t think that really applies.

Does your college town suck?

Yes, everything in Illinois sucks.