Chippewas Overview

Fast facts

League: NCAA Football

Head Coach: Jim McElwain

Team Mascot: none

Year Opened: 1972

Capacity: 30255

City / State: Mount Pleasant / Michigan

Rivalries & Top Games to Attend

Victory Cannon

Rival Team: WMU Broncos

The battle for the Victory Cannon takes place each year when the Chippewas meet their instate rivals the Western Michigan Broncos. The atmosphere for this game is always spirited, and the you can cut the tension in the stadium with a knife when these two instate rivals get together. The fans step up their cheering and tailgating skills up 5 levels for this game, so if you can only make it to one Chippewas game, this is the one to be at.

Michigan MAC Trophy

Rival Team: EMU Eagles, WMU Broncos

In addition to having a strong rivalry with fellow MAC school Western Michigan, there is also a fierce rivalry between Central and Eastern Michigan as well. All three Michigan-based MAC schools compete for the Michigan MAC Trophy, which gives yearly bragging rights whoever performs the best in the matchups between these three instate rivals.

Central Michigan vs Michigan State

Rival Team: Michigan State Spartans

Since 1991 the Chippewas have played the Spartans 10 times and despite having only a 3-7 record against Michigan State the series has been very competitive. The closeness of the two schools who are only separated by 61 miles means you’ll find plenty of fans from both schools when these two teams get together creating a fun party atmosphere at these games.

Chippewas Tailgate Guide


Central Michigan is home to one of the biggest tailgate parties  in all of college football. The students here deem their pregame parties “The End of the World” because they truly party like the world is ending. There is no limit to what you’ll find, see, eat, drink, or dance to at a CMU pregame party. If you’re looking to relieve your wild college days, “The End of the World” offers the perfect place for you to do so. Join right in the heart of this wild tailgate by heading over the infamous lot 63 as you’ll be welcomed with open arms.

It’s not just the drinking and partying that makes attending a game at Central Michigan a special experience. You’ll also find plenty of Chippewas pride on display at the tailgate. One of the best ways to get into the Central Michigan spirit is to watch The Marching Chips as they march to the stadium. The band starts marching toward the stadium from Lot 62 and parade down the east side hill into the stadium, customarily charging into their “Ooo-Wah” cheer. As the band marches by, that is your cue to enter the stadium and get ready for what is sure to be a game day experience you won’t forget.

Finally, there are plenty of family friendly activities to take part in as well when attending a Chippewas Tailgate. “The Island” offers inflatables and games for kids in addition to being home to the Chippewa Kids Club Area.
No matter who you’re bringing to the game or what kind of tailgating experience you’re looking for you’ll find it here at Central Michigan where there is something for everyone.


March to the Stadium

One of the best ways to get into the Central Michigan spirit is to watch The Marching Chips as they march to the stadium. The band starts marching toward the stadium from Lot 62 and parade down the east side hill into the stadium, customarily charging into their "Ooo-Wah" cheer.

play Watch video

Tailgate Village

Tailgate Village is the perfect spot for those of you looking to tailgate, but not looking to set up your tailgate. You’ll be able to rent tents, tables, and chairs in addition to catering options. Tailgate Village also features live music from local bands and sell beer, so don’t miss out on this fun pre-game experience.

“The Island”

The Island, located on the north side of Lot 62, offers a variety of family-friendly activities that will entertain everyone at the tailgate. Here you’ll find not only games and inflatables for kids but also music from local station 95.3 WCFX.

Where to tailgate

Chippewas Stadium Guide

In Game

The first thing you’ll notice when stepping foot into Kelly/Shorts Stadium is the unbelievable atmosphere, especially from the students. The football team comes bursting out of an inflatable helmet surrounded by the smoke, charge across the field and for lack of a better description do the Lambeau leap into the student section. The team charges across the field and jumps into the front rows to greet them while the decibel levels skyrocket. Kelly/Shorts Stadium is also the biggest stadium in the MAC Conference causing the sheer amount of fans in attendance create to an obstacle for visiting teams and help the Chippewas amass one of the best home records in the country.

The student section at Central Michigan, in particular, helps provide an outstanding home field advantage. Because the fans look at each Saturday like it’s the end of the world, and act accordingly, they are one of the loudest, wildest, and proudest student sections in all of College football and make a pretty solid case to be the best student section in the MAC. The students make up over half of the crowd at each home game, and they’re not afraid to let you, and the opponents know they’re in attendance.

If you went to Western Michigan, I’d leave that information at home before heading over to CMU or prepare for some friendly banter. Overall though the fans despite their passion for their team are friendly and respectful, so you won’t be in any real danger wearing rival colors.

The intense atmosphere of a Central Michigan game makes it one of the toughest places for opponents to play as well as one of the best game day experiences in the MAC. If you love college football, then you’ll have a great time visiting Central Michigan where the fans passion and pride is on full display.

Things to check out

Hall of Champions

Located in the Indoor Athletic Complex, The Hall of Champions features shrines and exhibits honoring the greatest Chippewas of all time. Stop by and pay tribute to some of the programs best before watching an entertaining game of Chippewas football.

The Marching Chips

The Marching Chips are arguably the best band in the MAC and provide excellent in-game entertainment. Their breathtaking pregame and halftime shows are worth the price of admission all on their own so stay in your seat at halftime because you won’t want to miss their wonderful performance.

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Fight Songs

  1. “Fire Up Chips!”

    The hallmark “Fire Up Chips!” greeting is used as a way of cheering, identifying fellow fans, greeting people, and is the phrase the fans will be cheering in the dying seconds of the game. Fire Up Chips is simply a way to distinguish yourself as one of the fans of the Chippewas, and the experience will be more memorable if you participate in this simple gesture.

    Fire Up Chips!

  2. Chanting the Team Name

    The chanting of Chippewas to start the game is a time-honored tradition at Central Michigan games. Once the pre-game entrance begins, the whole crowd, in unison, starts to chant OO-WAH...CHIP-OO-WAH and repeat until the game has almost begun. Make yourself a part of the crowd by joining in on this fun pregame tradition.


  3. The Fighting Chippewa

    The official school fight song is played as the team takes the field and after every Chippewas score.

    FIGHT Central, down the field,
    FIGHT for Victory, FIGHT,
    Fellows never yield; We’re with you, oh Varsity.
    Onward with banners bold,
    to our colors we’ll be true,
    FIGHT for Maroon and Gold,
    Down the field for C.M.U.!
    VARSITY! Rah! Rah! VICTORY! Rah! Rah!
    CHIPPEWA we’re proud of that nickname.
    Hear our song loud
    and strong,
    CENTRAL is going to win this game!
    Come on and…  
    (Repeat thru “C.M.U.!”)

  4. Alma Mater, Hear Us Now

    Alma Mater, hear us now;
    ever more we praise thee.
    Hear us pledge our sacred vow,
    ever to defend thee.
    Mighty Mother, Queen of Earth eternal,
    precious emblem of our lives Supreme; Ever symbolizing truth and knowledge  in glorified esteem. Alma Mater, hear us now;
    ever more we praise thee.
    Hear us pledge our sacred vow,
    ever to defend thee.

Chippewas Bars & Restaurants

  1. Green Spot Pub

    Green Spot Pub

    Definitely your go-to place for great drinks and really good food!

    808 N Mission St, Mt Pleasant, MI 48858, USA


    Bar website

    american - $$

  2. Rubbles


    Rubble's Bar - The strongest drinks in town, and the premier place for live music in Mt. Pleasant! Never ask for a double...they already are!

    112 W Michigan St, Mt Pleasant, MI 48858, USA


    Bar website

    american - $$

  3. Blackstone Bar

    Blackstone Bar

    Showing Mount Pleasant a great time since 1933.

    212 W Michigan St, Mt Pleasant, MI 48858, USA


    Bar website

    american - $

  4. Marty’s Bar

    Martys Bar

    The kitchen is open from noon until 10pm. Any fan of steak should definitely come check out our unbeatable New York Strip steak dinner special.

    123 S Main St, Mt Pleasant, MI 48858, USA


    Bar website

    steakhouse - $

  5. Hunter’s Ale House

    Hunters Ale House beer

    With a wide variety of food and drink options, Hunter's Ale House is bound to have something for everyone, including our very own Hunter's Handmade Brewery beers!

    4855 E Blue Grass Rd, Mt Pleasant, MI 48858, USA


    Bar website

    american - sportsbar - $$

  6. O’Kelly’s Sports Bar

    Okellys Sports Bar Grill

    A sports bar that has big screen TV's, perfect for watching your favourite football game, cool drinks and super delicious food!

    2000 S Mission St, Mt Pleasant, MI 48858, USA


    Bar website

    sportsbar - $$

  7. Blue Gator Sports Pub

    Blue Gator Sports Pub Grill

    The Blue Gator features over 99 different types of craft beer (15 of which are on draft), a full menu with a cajun twist and 18 HD Tv's making it the perfect spot to catch a game.

    106 Court St, Mt Pleasant, MI 48858, USA


    Bar website

    sportsbar - $$

  8. The Bird Bar and Grill

    The Bird Bar and Grill beer

    Excellent service, great food, and super cool drinks!

    223 S Main St, Mt Pleasant, MI 48858, USA


    Bar website

    american - $

  9. Dog Central

    Dog Central fries

    Dog Central specializes in hot dogs with a huge variety of toppings with everything from ketchup to mac n' cheese...and maybe a few things you've never thought of!

    111 E Michigan St, Mt Pleasant, MI 48858, USA


    Bar website

    american - $

  10. Stanley’s Famous Restaurant

    Stanleys Famous Restaurant

    Offering American Style Good Food served with a smile.

    220 E Broadway St, Mt Pleasant, MI 48858, USA


    Bar website

    american - cafe - $

  11. Pisanello’s Pizza

    Pisanellos Pizza

    If you want pizza that's just so good, this is your place!

    110 N Main St, Mt Pleasant, MI 48858, USA


    Bar website

    pizza - $

  12. Jet’s Pizza of Mt Pleasant

    Jets Pizza of Mt Pleasant

    Jet’s offers more than famous deep dish pizza, like delicious fresh salads, breads, a dessert, hand-tossed and thin crust pizza, a gluten-free option and one-of-a-kind Jetzee sandwiches.

    2308 S Mission St, Mt Pleasant, MI 48858, USA


    Bar website

    pizza - $$

  13. Midori Sushi and Asian Lounge

    Midori Sushi and Asian Lounge

    Midori, the Japanese word for green, reflects our commitment to using the freshest ingredients.

    105 E Broadway St, Mt Pleasant, MI 48858, USA


    Bar website

    asian - $$

  14. Max and Emily’s

    Max and Emilys Eatery

    The best place for lunch in Mount Pleasant.

    125 E Broadway St, Mt Pleasant, MI 48858, USA


    Bar website

    cafe - $$

  15. The Brass Cafe and Saloon

    The Brass Cafe and Saloon

    We are The Brass Cafe: family owned, locally focused, and passionate about providing food and drink that is exciting to the palate, entertaining to the eyes, and warming to the heart.

    128 S Main St, Mt Pleasant, MI 48858, USA


    Bar website

    american - cafe - $$

  16. Mountain Town Brewing and Steakhouse

    Mountain Town Brewing and Steakhouse

    A family-owned community focused restaurant with original recipes and a full service menu, hand crafted beer brewed onsite, and excellent customer service.

    506 W Broadway St, Mt Pleasant, MI 48858, USA


    Bar website

    american - steakhouse - $$