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2014 MAC Championship: What To Do In Detroit When You're Not At the Game

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While the game may be the center of attention for MAC fans making their annual pilgrimage to Detroit, there are plenty of other things to do. Here's our guide to the city

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Detroit.  It's a city full of history.  From the invention of the affordable motorized vehicle via the assembly line to riots to bankruptcy, Detroit has quite the story to tell.  This weekend, another page will be written as NIU and Bowling Green face each other for the MAC Championship.  We here at the Belt want you to experience all the things Detroit (and the greater metropolitan area) has to offer!

So without further ado, here is our guide to Detroit, a city that still may yet be great (in areas).

Other Sporting Events

Detroit Red Wings - The Red Wings are one of the most historic sports franchises in history.  From Gordie Howe to Steve Yzerman, the Wings are the reason the city is named Hockeytown, USA.  One of the Original Six franchises, you can see them play at Joe Louis Arena, located right on the Detroit River.  On Thursday, they'll host the Dallas Stars and on Saturday, they'll host fellow Original Six member New York Rangers, both games start around 7 pm.

Detroit Lions - The LOINS are actually doing pretty good this year.  Known as a bad team that once had Barry Sanders (and subsequently might have caused his early retirement), the Lions will host lowly Tampa Bay on Sunday at Ford Field.  A win would keep them in the thick of the playoff hunt, and they could be at the top of the NFC North should Green Bay lose this week as well

College Sports - The Dirty D features plenty of schools like Detroit-Mercy, Oakland, and Wayne State.  You can also visit EMU and Michigan just 45 minutes away to the West.  We recommend Eastern Michigan for obvious reasons, but whatever floats your boat.

Casinos

Greektown Casino - I'll be staying here at the hotel, but Greektown features free parking right off the highway.  The Greektown area of Detroit is lively, and the casino itself is fairly affordable compared to its two competitors.  Also, it's located on the Detroit People Mover, the local tramway that connects a good majority of the downtown area together.

Motor City Casino - Also located just off a highway, the Motor City Casino looks gorgeous at night as you approach it.  Car themed of course.  It's the farthest away from the stadium though, making you cross over I-94 to get to the stadium.

MGM Grand - The "high end" of casinos in Detroit, it's your little slice of Las Vegas.

Bars

Of course we have to feature bars.  There are plenty to visit in the area, but below are a few in the Downtown Detroit area.  Along with the a general area in which you can visit them.

The Old Shillelagh (Greektown) - An Irish bar, just like their name suggests.  Big on sports of course
Cheli's Chili Bar (Ford Field) - Right outside of Comerica Park, it's owned by former Red Winger Chris Chelios
Elwood Bar & Grill (Ford Field) - Right on the corner of the stadium itself, this place is likely to be PACKED.  But if you can find your way in, it's pretty neat.
Hockeytown Cafe (Ford Field) - While focusing on the Wings, they love all their sports teams.  Yes, even the Pistons.
Foran's Grand Trunk Pub (Campus Martius) - Over 170 craft beers available.  Need I say more?
Nemo's (Corktown/Tiger Stadium) - Finding Nemo's may be the hardest part, but it's worth it.  Once located across the street from Tigers Stadium, it's not downtown, but still one of the best bars around.
Motor City Brewing Works (Midtown) - Home of Ghettoblaster.  That name alone should make you want to try it.

Other Notables

Detroit Zoo - Located WAY in the back of Woodward Avenue, if you make the trek it's worth it.  Amazing zoo that is lit up for the holidays.  Also, Thursday night they host an adults only event.  DRINK UP, BE MERRY, STAY AWAY FROM THE TIGERS.

Hall Road - Located in Clinton Township, it's also a trek out there, but worth it.  Lots of shops and great food and movie theaters.  It's a nice place to do some of that Christmas shopping you're putting off.

Novi - Just go.  The mall is awesome and they have a Cheesecake Factory restaurant.  You're welcome.

Campus Martius - The starting point for Woodward (ends in Pontiac), Grand River (ends way out past Lansing), and Gratiot (ends in Port Huron) Avenues, this park should also be all did up for the holidays and should feature a skating rink.  Cool, right?

Alex Alvarado's House - This is in Ypsilanti.  He lives at 71..

/giant anvil falls on head followed by giant piano

I like pancakes.

Errr.......anyways, let us know what you plan on doing in Detroit and if we missed something. Check out our nifty map with everything marked out for you (expand or zoom in if needed)