Bud and Jackie Sellick Bowl – Butler Bulldogs
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A Pleasant Suprise at Butler
The Bud and Jackie Sellick Bowl is the home to the Butler Bulldogs football program. The stadium was constructed in 1928 and at one time sat 36,000 with the option of increasing capacity to 72,000. At the time the Butler Bowl, as it was known until 2016, hosted the likes of Red Grange and the University of Illinois and Notre Dame football.
However, throughout the preceding eight decades the stadium’s capacity would shrink to 20,000 and then to 7,500. The facility has seen copious transformations the last decade that included the construction of student apartment housing on the east side of the field, a new brick press box, new stadium lighting, and a new south end seating and entrance.
The stadium sits below the fame to Hinkle Fieldhouse and provides an intimate feel to any football contest. There are 5,647 seats that include 250 chair back seats along the west side of the stadium. The most prominent feature might be the student hill that takes up the south side of the stadium that fills up with many fans at the beginning of the game.
Food & Beverage 3
There is a nice selection of food available at both the main concession and portable stands throughout the stadium. The football field is located next to the basketball arena and utilizes its concession stand for hot dogs, nachos, burgers, and soft drinks. There is also a portable stand outside of the arena offering similar items in a much shorter line.
There are other portable stands that offer Dippin’ Dot ice cream and tall cans of domestic beer from Budweiser to Yuengling. It’s an average menu option and perhaps more than enough for fans at a Butler game. There are many great restaurants nearby South Broad Ripple to satisfy any hunger before or after the game.
The Bulldogs play in the 11 team Pioneer League and entertain schools from eight different states from coast to coast. During our visit, the Princeton Tigers were making its first-ever trip to the state of Indiana in 150 seasons and brought along quite a few followers with them to the stadium. The night was clear, the weather was comfortable, and the crowd intimate. All of this made for an ideal night of college football in the last weekend of summer.
The parking lot is filled with tailgating, campers, and various picnic tables adorn with brats, burgers, dips, and plenty of chips and drinks. Inside, the views from the student hill are quite perfect when holding a can of beer and cheering on your favorite team. The stands themselves are of bleacher quality and provide a close enough experience to the game.
The Sellick Bowl has all that one would expect from the program and perhaps all you would ever need: two opponents, a few friends, and a nice night to enjoy the football game. The wrought iron fencing, the brick exterior and interior, and the presence of the Hinkle Fieldhouse provide a beautiful backdrop to an already picturesque Butler campus. If there is time, take a stroll around the historic buildings, just a short walk from the stadium.
The campus is located within walking distance of Broad Ripple Village, a nice place to shop and walk around during the day, but a destination for the younger college crowd after dark. Downtown Indy is only six miles south of campus, but the best place to enhance your visit is in SOBRO (South Broad Ripple).
Twenty Tap offers distinctly different craft beers, along with their own, that are unavailable throughout the city. They offer menu options of vegetarian banh mi sandwiches, fried cheese curds, and poutine during the fall and winter months. The beer options also include a $3.50 pint of the day.
Next door is Fat Dan’s offering mouthwatering and lip-smacking smoked ribs, brisket, pulled pork, chicken wings, juicy burgers, pressed Cubanos, Italian beef, and house-smoked meatloaf and Reuben sandwiches. There is even a draft beer of the day for $3.50.
Across the street is Yats, which offers Cajun and Creole cuisine at affordable prices with an eclectic surrounding. If you are looking for a hang out with pub food and sports, Moe & Johnny’s is the traditional Butler hangout, and the Sinking Ship offers some interesting vegan and vegetarian options along with plenty of flat screen TVs for sports.
The Butler fans definitely appreciate their football program and even though they had a crushing defeat while we were in attendance, they put up on their game faces. The Dogs were never in the game against Princeton, but that did not stop the crowd from enjoying their night, many were there for a sociable evening with friends and family.
The football stadium shares the parking lot with the basketball arena, but many people park throughout campus or on the residential streets surrounding the campus. This can make for an interesting beginning to the football game as many people walk in droves towards the main entrance. There is parking down the hill on the north end near the baseball stadium, but it does require a little bit of a hike.
Once inside the stadium, the concession areas are all located on the west side along with bathroom facilities. If you happen to be on the visitor side or down on the hill, it may take a little bit of walking to get a drink or use of facilities.
Return on investment 3
The cost of a ticket ranges from $12 to $15 depending on what type of seating you wanted the game. The price of a youth ticket is $9. The parking is free and the concession prices are extremely reasonable. If you are at the game on the right night and with the right crowd, it can be a very welcoming place to watch football and one that should not be overlooked.
The stadium receives a point for the hill on the south side of the stadium. It’s a great way to enjoy the game with friends and cheer on the Bulldogs to victory.
The stadium receives the second point for the Hinkle Fieldhouse looming in the distance of the football bowl. The iconic basketball venue towers over the field and creates an ambiance that’s second to none in the city of Indianapolis.
The stadium receives the third and final point for the brick exterior and interior of the stadium. The historic venue maybe 80 some years old, but definitely feels right in place in the 21st century.
This was my first football game at the Sellick Bowl and I was pleasantly surprised with what I witnessed during my visit. The stadium was full of festive moods, plenty of socializing, and was just as good as any other small college football program in the area. It’s nice to know that somewhere tucked away on the Butler campus one can enjoy college football the right way.
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