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?
City: Bloomington, Indiana
Size: 23.42 square miles
Location: 39°09′44″N 86°31′45″W
Population: 79,168 (2020)
State Capital? No
Time zone: Eastern
Landmarks: Indiana University, Tibetan Mongolian Buddhist Cultural Center, Buskirk-Chumley Theater
Bloomington is an “attractive” progressive community according to its own city website and is the “Gateway to Scenic Southern Indiana.”
Sure, call yourselves that…
Bloomington was established in 1818 by settlers from Kentucky, Tennessee, the Carolinas and Virginia. The city got its name because the settlers were so impressed by the “haven of blooms.” Bloomington has recently been designated as a “Tree City USA.”
The area features a number of state parks, state and national forests and city parks and recreation.
Indiana University was founded in Bloomington in 1820, making it one of the oldest universities in the nation. Early settlers in Bloomington made their livings by farming, timbering for the furniture industry and limestone extraction, which is what most of the buildings on campus are made of.
Limestone mills were opened in nearby Stinesville in 1827 and more were built in the area by the 1860s. Transportation of limestone was made easier when the railroad came to the area in 1853-54.
The 1900’s many changes to the area with improved roads, mail service, more trains, a hospital and more and increased development, led to the Bloomington we know and kinda tolerate today, while some think it is quite pleasant. For instance, Bloomington was ranked No. 21 in Livability’s Top 100 Places to Live in America in 2021.
Bloomington also earned a perfect 100-point score on the Human Rights Commission’s Municipal Equality Index from 2015-2020. The city also received a bronze-level honor by Walk Friendly, for its commitment to improving and sustaining walkability and pedestrian safety in 2020.
However, I don’t buy it. There is no way a town can be that good. I mean, their school’s mascot is a Hoosier…which is just a name for people from Indiana, named after a Native American word for corn.
Did you know corn has not nutritional value? .
Oh and get this…Indiana thinks ‘Ope,’ is their thing. Umm, I beg to differ sirs, I have been saying ‘ope’ my entire life. “Ope, let me slide on past you,” was something I said regularly in the crowded halls of my various schools growing up...IN WISCONSIN!
Thanks to the unofficial guide to drinking in Bloomington, they provided a list of some of the best places to find a drink near Indiana University.
According to that site Kilroy’s on Kirkwood is the best place on earth… with some pretty good breadsticks and Water Longs, which are water long islands, which are magical concoctions made from water, sugar, and a bunch of different alcohols. Sorry, but there’s no way they’re better than the Red Shed’s Real Thing.
Kilroy’s was even featured on a Buzzfeed list of top college bars, ranking seventh. Nick’s English Hut, also in Bloomington came in No. 12 on the list.
Nick’s English Hut is the bar that the drinking game, Sink the Biz originated in. The game is played using a metal bucket filled with beer and a beer glass floating in it. Players take turns pouring beer into the glass. Whoever sinks it, has to drink it.
Sounds like… fun…?
Good news though, Bloomington does have a Culver’s, so Hoosiers can get down with some butter burgers and frozen custard.
Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall was re-named an re-opened on Oct. 14, 2016 under it’s current name, following a $40 million dollar gift made by Cindy Simon Skjodt, to provide renovations to the stadium.
Previously known as simply Assembly Hall (as it is still commonly referred to) the old arena originally opened in 1971 and seats 17,222.
Assembly Hall is well known as one of the louder venues in college basketball, aided by it’s passionate fan base and its unique design of steep sides. It looks like a nightmare for someone with height aversions.
Assembly Hall was named as the third best home-court by ESPN in 2012.
Does your college town suck?
You know, Bloomington seems to be a safe town, but maybe too safe? Also, their drinking game of Sink the Biz sounds like a petri dish, teeming with the next germs of the next pandemic.
Yes, it sucks. And I know what you’re thinking, what about the Indiana Hoosiers, but in the words of MRI Technician, Chris… No, Badgers.