Illinois State Redbirds Overview

Fast facts

League: NCAA Division I FCS

Head Coach: Brock Spack

Team Mascot: Reggie Redbird

Year Opened: 1963

Capacity: 13391

City / State: Normal / Illinois

Rivalries & Top Games to Attend

Mid-America Classic

Rival Team: Eastern Illinois Panthers

The Mid-America Classic between Illinois State and Eastern Illinois began in 1901 and is the oldest college football rivalry in Illinois. Despite not having played in the same conference since 1995 the two schools typically meet each year helping preserve the intense rivalry. Illinois State leads the all-time series 54-41-9, so come out and cheer on the Redbirds as they look to extend their lead.

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Illinois State Redbirds vs Western Illinois Leathernecks

Rival Team: Western Illinois Leathernecks

You won’t want to miss it when the Redbirds take on in-state rivals Western Illinois. There is always a lot at stake when these two Missouri Valley Football Conference rivals meet as not only are bragging rights on the line but so are games in the standings.

Illinois State Redbirds Tailgate Guide


Redbirds fans love to tailgate making a trip to Normal for an Illinois State game a great experience. All around campus, you’ll see Redbirds fans tailgating and having fun with friends and family. Whether you like to grill or just like to throw back some drinks with friends, you’ll enjoy tailgating at Illinois State.

You’ll find a lot of camaraderie among fans here in Normal as everyone comes out to tailgate and have a good time before the game. As long as you bring something to share, you’ll make friends quickly, so don’t hesitate to strike up a conversation with tailgate neighbors.

Those of you who are bringing the kids to the game will want to stop by Reggie’s Fun Zone in Horton Field House before the game. Reggie’s Fun Zone features all kinds of kids activities including inflatables, crafts, and much more, so stop by and check it out.

Tailgating is a big part of the gameday experience at Illinois State, so arrive here early and make the most out of your trip to Normal, Illinois.


Reggie’s Fun Zone

If you’re taking the kids to the game, stop by Reggie’s Fun Zone before the game. Reggie’s Fun Zone is located in Horton Field House and opens two hours before kickoff. Here kids will enjoy inflatables, games, crafts, and even get to meet Reggie Redbird himself.

Will Robinson and Doug Collins Statue

Before heading into Hancock Stadium, stop by Redbird Arena to see the statue of Will Robinson and Doug Collins. The statue is located outside the north entrance and honors the two ISU basketball legends making it a must-see for Redbirds fans.

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Where to tailgate

Illinois State Redbirds Stadium Guide

In Game

Illinois State has had a lot of success under current head coach Brock Spack, including a trip to the FCS Championship Game in 2015, fostering a strong football culture in Normal. Fans from all over the area come out to support the Redbirds on game days creating a fun atmosphere at games. The fans here are some of the most passionate and knowledgeable in the FCS ensuring you’ll have a good time when attending an Illinois State football game. No group of fans is more passionate than the student section, known as Red Alert, so enjoy their presence when taking in a game at Hancock Stadium.

In addition to fantastic fan support, Illinois State football games also boast plenty of pageantry and tradition. The Victory Bell has been a staple of Redbirds games since the 1960s and is a must-see for any fan. You also won’t want to miss the opportunity to see the talented Big Red Marching Machine and the Redline Express. Both the band and dance team are a big part of the what makes attending a Redbirds game a special even making them must-sees for any college football fan.

You’ll have an incredible time taking in a game at Hancock Stadium, so get your tickets to an Illinois State football game today.

Things to check out

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Victory Bell

The Victory Bell is a big part of a Redbirds football game as it leads the team out onto the field and is rung after every Illinois State touchdown. The ringing of the Victory Bell works the crowd into a frenzy making it a can’t miss part of any Illinois State football game.

Battle Bird

Before the game, the Redbirds touch the Battle Bird as they make their way to the field. The ceremony is what gets every Illinois State game started, so get ready to cheer on the Redbirds as they take the field when you see the Battle Bird.

Big Red Marching Machine

You won’t want to miss seeing the Big Red Marching Machine perform at Redbirds games. The Big Red Marching Machine put on incredible pregame and halftime shows and create an excellent atmosphere throughout the game with their tunes.

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Redline Express

Don’t leave your seat when you see the Redline Express take the field. The Redline Express dance team will dazzle you with their routines making them a must-see part of any Redbirds sporting event.

Reggie Redbird

Illinois State fans young and old love Reggie Redbird. Reggie Redbird is the official mascot of Illinois State and one of the best parts of any ISU sporting event. He gets into all kinds of shenanigans at games, so keep an eye out for Reggie Redbird.

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Red Alert

Red Alert is the official Redbirds student section, and they do an incredible job of giving Illinois State a great home field advantage. Enjoy the atmosphere created by Red Alert when attending a game at Hancock Stadium.

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Fight Songs

  1. Go, You Redbirds

    Go You Redbirds onto battle! Fight for ISU.
    Raise the banner, red, and white; to this emblem we’ll be true.
    So let us cheer the Redbirds on to victory! Every voice proclaim:
    ‘We’ve got the fight! We’ve got the might! Let’s win this game.

  2. ISU Alma Mater

    Glory hast though, might and power; proud the halls of ISU.
    Deeds that live in song and story, loyal sons and daughters true.
    So shalt thou in years increasing send they grads of honest worth,
    forth to bear with zeal unceasing wisdom’s torch throughout the earth.

Illinois State Redbirds Bars & Restaurants

  1. Mugsy’s


    Unpretentious pub with video poker, darts & a menu of creative burgers, sandwiches & wings.

    1310 N Main St, Bloomington, IL 61701, USA

    Bar website

    american - $

  2. The Bistro

    Mesquite Mexican Grill Bar Cocktail Bradley's Bar Grill Cocktail Bobby Gs

    Bloomington's premier alternative bar and live performance venue.

    316 N Main St, Bloomington, IL 61701, USA

    Bar website

    sportsbar - $

  3. Diggers

    Beer glass

    Great affordable drinks, amazing live music, and nice staff!

    230 E Front St, Bloomington, IL 61701, USA

    Bar website

    sportsbar - $

  4. Rosie’s Pub

    Rosies Pub

    Lovely, cozy atmosphere, with a great food menu, superb service, and fantastic drinks.

    106 E Front St, Bloomington, IL 61701, USA

    Bar website

    american - bbq - $$

  5. Drifters Pub

    Drifters Pub

    Excellent food menu, great drinks, and friendly staff!

    612 N Main St, Bloomington, IL 61701, USA

    Bar website

    american - $

  6. Elroy’s


    Whether you’re looking to grab a tasty meal, enjoy a cold drink, or watch the latest sports game in Bloomington, IL, you can do all three in style at Elroy’s Bar.

    102 W Washington St, Bloomington, IL 61701, USA

    Bar website

    american - $

  7. Maguire’s Bar & Grill

    beer burger Buddys Place

    Great selection of drinks, good food, and nice service.

    220 N Center St, Bloomington, IL 61701, USA

    Bar website

    american - european - $

  8. Fat Jacks Bar

    Fat Jacks Bar whiskey

    Fat Jacks features 3 seperate full service bars, that can be rented out for private events, over 30 rotating premium craft draughts, and a great New Orleans inspired kitchen with some amazing bar eats.

    511 N Main St, Bloomington, IL 61701, USA

    Bar website

    american - $

  9. Cheeks Bar & Grill

    Cheeks Bar Grill

    Come get cozy, grab a beer, and maybe even a burger.

    1206 Towanda Ave, Bloomington, IL 61701, USA

    Bar website

    american - $

  10. Western Tap

    Western Tap

    The best place for a burger and beer! Check out our beer garden or catch your game on one of our several televisions.

    1301 N Western Ave, Bloomington, IL 61701, USA

    Bar website

    american - $

  11. Lunker’s

    beer Billy Jacks Wing Draft Shack Roost Great American Pub

    Lunker's bar and grill has great food and entertainment.

    104 S Linden St, Normal, IL 61761, USA

    Bar website

    american - $

  12. Pub II


    Pub II has been a part of Illinois State University welcoming students and residents alike for good food, good drinks, and great times!

    102 N Linden St, Normal, IL 61761, USA

    Bar website

    american - sportsbar - $

  13. Tobin’s Pizza

    Tobins Pizza

    Choose any of the toppings available and you are on your way to a perfect pizza.

    1513 N Main St, Bloomington, IL 61701, USA

    Bar website

    pizza - $$

  14. D.P. Dough

    D P Dough

    Best known for being THE PLACE to go or call when it is crazy late. Who else is gonna deliver you a custom made calzone after the bars close?

    121 E Beaufort St, Normal, IL 61761, USA

    Bar website

    pizza - $

  15. Maggie Miley’s

    Maggie Mileys

    Maggie's brings you constant football matches and an incredible Irish atmosphere.

    126 E Beaufort St, Normal, IL 61761, USA

    Bar website

    european - $$

  16. Uptown Pizza Restaurant

    Uptown Pizza Restaurant

    Uptown Pizza Restaurant is a cornerstone in the Normal community and has been recognized for its outstanding Indian cuisine, excellent service and friendly staff.

    122 E Beaufort St, Normal, IL 61761, USA

    Bar website

    asian - pizza - $$

  17. Medici

    Medici tree

    “This is a beautiful restaurant and if somebody else had done it, I would be jealous.”

    120 W North St, Normal, IL 61761, USA

    Bar website

    american - $$

  18. The Rock Restaurant

    The Rock Restaurant

    The best Gyros, Mediterranean and American food, with the best service in town!

    203 W North St, Normal, IL 61761, USA

    Bar website

    american - european - $

  19. Avanti’s Italian Restaurant

    Pizza Palermo Subs Missys Village

    Avanti's serves the best Italian Food around!

    Avanti\'s, 407 S Main St, Normal, IL 61761, USA

    Bar website

    italian - pizza - $