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Since 2003, my husband, Chris, and I have been on a mission to attend a home game at every NCAA FBS football school in America. In 2015, we went to the University of Missouri, our 45th school, over Labor Day Weekend. Since it was a long weekend, we also attended a Kansas City Royals baseball game. This is the story of our weekend of sports in Missouri.
We left our home in Texas at about 4:30 Friday afternoon and started the drive to Kansas City.
Unfortunately, we did not get off to a good start. I forgot my cell phone and we had to circle the block and go back to the house to get it. Once we got going, traffic was a nightmare due to multiple traffic jams.
For dinner, we went through a Whataburger driver-thru in Ardmore, Oklahoma. This also took forever! Thanks to food stops and traffic, our trip was an hour and a half longer than it should have been.
We finally arrived at the Hyatt Place in Kansas City at about 2 am. We were so tired, but were anxious to start our weekend of sports in Missouri! It was quickly off to bed for all of us after checking in.
Traveling to the Game
I set the alarm for Saturday morning at 8:30, but I was wide awake at 7:30! Hate when that happens! This did allow us to get a head start on our weekend of sports in Missouri.
We left the hotel at about 9:30 and headed to Columbia, Missouri for the football game. We stopped for breakfast at a Chik-fil-a.
It was like a maze getting into the parking lot. Once we found our way to the drive-thru lane, it was slow! This is very unusual for Chik-fil-a. So far, there has been nothing fast about the fast food we’ve had on this trip!
We drove past the Royals’ stadium on our way to Columbia. That was a nice little tease of Sunday’s game. Our son was very excited to see the stadium.
We then, of course, got stuck in another traffic jam! This one was out in the middle of nowhere, about 45 minutes from Columbia. It was caused by construction. “Slow and steady” was quickly becoming the theme of the trip!
Pro Tip: Give yourself plenty of time to get to the game in case you run into traffic or other unforeseen delays.
Arriving On Campus
Once we arrived in Columbia, we quickly found campus. It was a crazy sight to see!
People were tailgating everywhere, including along the side of the road. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen so many tailgates in so many different places!
We drove past one parking garage that was close to the stadium and charging $25. We drove another 2 blocks down the same street and found a garage with free parking! We’ll take it! I love getting free parking on game days.
Pro Tip: Do a little exploring before paying to park, unless you find a deal you can’t pass up!
Exploring the Campus
The first order of business once we were on campus was to stop in the bookstore. On our way to the bookstore, we came upon Tiger Plaza. So, we stopped for our landmark picture.
It was a great spot because it had Jesse Hall, the administration building in the background. This is a very pretty area.
Once inside the Student Union, we found an ATM machine and the bookstore.
We also found Mort’s, a counter service restaurant themed around the Beetle Bailey cartoon strip and named after the creator of the strip, who is a Missouri alumnus.
We took a picture of our son with a life size Beetle Bailey character.
After leaving the bookstore, we found the Beetle Bailey statue that is tucked away in a little corner of campus. We took a picture there too.
After dropping our purchases in the car, we changed into Missouri shirts. Now, we were officially ready to begin our weekend of sports in Missouri!
We walked to Eckles Hall for some Mizzou ice cream. I love trying the ice cream made at the various universities. However, Eckles Hall was closed! Boo!
After we struck out with the ice cream, we headed to the stadium. It was so hot outside!
Once inside the stadium, we immediately stopped for water. I saw they had a cooler full of Mizzou ice cream. I was so excited!
When I asked for one, the girl said they weren’t selling it today! How do you not sell ice cream at the hottest game of the year?!?!?! And it’s the season opener! Big miss Missouri!! So disappointing!
Our seats were in the endzone. We did have a decent view and were mostly in the shade.
The Missouri band had a huge drum named Big Mo, which our son loved. The pregame atmosphere was exciting. You couldn’t tell by the hype that they were playing a lesser opponent.
The final score of the game was Missouri 34-Southeast Missouri 3. After we left the stadium, we walked back through campus to take our sign picture.
After getting our final picture, we left campus and went to an nearby area to get some food. However, every place we found was small and crowded. None of us were in the mood for that!
So, we ended up eating at a Cheddar’s on the edge of town. We didn’t want to eat at a chain restaurant, but we were tired and hungry.
Luckily, we were able to catch the start of the Notre Dame/Texas game on TV while we ate. We then made the 2 hour trip back to Kansas City. Once at the hotel, we watched the end of the ND game before heading to bed.
Because this was Labor Day weekend, we had an extra day to spend in Kansas City. This meant we could extend our weekend of sports in Missouri by going to a Kansas City Royals baseball game.
We had breakfast at the hotel before heading to the game. Our son had recently became a Royals fan and was very excited about going to the game! We arrived at the Royals stadium at about 11 am. We couldn’t believe how many people were already there! It was nuts!
We endured another hot and crowded day. The game was sold out and the only tickets we could get were Standing Room Only. We thought we would be able to find a seat once the game started. However, we were wrong! Every seat in the place was full!
Pro Tip: If you plan to go to an out of town game, get your tickets early!
It was Kids’ Day, so they had lots of activities to entertain kids. This was great for us because our son was not interested in standing in the heat to watch the game. Chris watched a little bit of it.
But, our son did more playing than watching. He rode the carousel, played miniature golf, met the Royals’ mascot, and played ball on the wiffle ball field.
Lunch at the ball park was ice cream for me and our son and beer for Chris.
Post Game Activities
We left in the 4th inning and found some air conditioning and real food at the 75th Street Brewery. It was nice and quiet inside. It really hit the spot! The food was very good.
Afterwards, we stopped at a few stores on our way back to the hotel. We had a quiet and cool night in the room relaxing.
On Monday morning, we woke up to a thunderstorm. We left the hotel and were on the way home by 8:00 am. We stopped at a travel plaza in Kansas for gas, postcards, and a McDonald’s breakfast. Then it was a full day of driving.
We met my mom at a gas station in Ardmore, Oklahoma to pick up a trombone she had bought for our son. Woohoo! He was so happy with the trombone that he decided to play it right there in the parking lot! We finally arrived at home at about 5:30 pm.
This was a fun weekend of sports in Missouri. I was glad we included the baseball game into our trip. But, Chris and I both grew tired of the hot weather, crowds, and logistical difficulties that we had.
We had a hard time getting to everything in Kansas City and Columbia. It seemed to take twice as long as it should to move from place to place. Everywhere we went seemed to involve weird intersections or mazelike entrances.
Even with all that, it’s always nice to have a long travel weekend where we can squeeze in an extra game.
We were impressed with the overall atmosphere at Missouri. We all enjoyed the Royals game and all they offered during their Kids’ Day promotion. All in all, it was a great trip.
Want to read more of our football trip reports? Here are the others:
- University of Louisiana Lafayette
- University of Alabama Birmingham
- Notre Dame and University of Toledo
- University of Iowa and Northern Illinois University
- Mississippi State University