We’re here to let you in on a little secret.
The top budget-friendly entertainment in Champaign-Urbana this fall and winter has to be the volleyball/women’s basketball season ticket combo, now on sale at fightingillini.com.
For $80, season ticket holders get general admission access to 26 home court games, give or take a few; the women’s basketball full schedule has yet to be released as of this writing.
I’m not great at math, but that’s about $3 per game. And you never have to wait in line at the ticket counter or fumble for your password.
That’s a deep discount for volleyball, where tickets are $10 per match for adults and $5 for kids (season tickets are one price). And still a good deal for women’s basketball, where general admission tickets are typically $5.
The student athletes are focused, committed and spirited. And accessible – they enjoy seeing the crowd energized and cheering.
With volleyball season close to launch, we’re not quite sure just how long this amazing deal will last. Opening night on home court seems slightly delayed this year as the Illini netters won’t hit the court in Champaign until late September at the start of the Big Ten conference season.
Our family has long been women’s sports super fans, and that goes across the board. (Note: all other women’s sports at the University of Illinois are not ticketed, and admission is free.)
As for volleyball, some folks say it is harder to win a Big Ten volleyball championship than it is to win the national championship – the league is just that deep with legacy and talent and tradition. Case in point: Wisconsin won the NCAA title thanks to a come-from-behind, five-set thriller over Nebraska.
Specifically for basketball the action on the court features fabulous athletes and terrific competition. The Big Ten is experiencing a golden era of women’s basketball, with six teams getting into the NCAA tournament last March.
We’re energized by first-year Illini women’s basketball head coach Shauna Green and the fresh perspective she brings to the program.
Women’s basketball has a more relaxed atmosphere at State Farm Center than a typical men’s game, but still maintains that Illini feel. The band plays all the traditional favorites, the flags run around the building, and there’s plenty of funny stuff up on the scoreboard.
If you drive, parking at these games is typically free. For volleyball, we recommend planning ahead as parking around Huff Gym can be a bit more tricky than at the State Farm Center.
Here’s one thing we can’t control: your children asking for plenty of snacks. Be sure to budget in some Dippin’ Dots.
(Full disclosure: chambanamoms has long enjoyed a great partnership with the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics, but this opinion is ours and ours alone.)