Occasionally overlooked as it sits 10 minutes from Michigan’s “Big House” and 35 minutes from the metropolitan area of Detroit, Rynearson Stadium is a jewel off the campus of Eastern Michigan University. This home of the Eagles is situated in the quaint, yet vibrant college town of Ypsilanti – a great setting for gameday.
The Eagle Walk starts the festivities as the team is greeted by fans, cheerleaders, and the band. Costumed mascot, Swoop, joins the celebration as well as the striking live eagle mascot. Once inside the stadium, this live eagle soars over the field as part of the pregame festivities as Swoop entertains from the sidelines. The Eagles have been the nickname for EMU since 1991 when it replaced the controversial Huron (Native American) nickname.
Eastern Michigan has replaced the green playing field with a unique gray surface, making them one of only two FBS schools (with Boise State) to have something other than green between the endzones. The steel colored field enhances the blue collar work ethic that has been adopted by Eastern. As part of this culture, Rynearson Stadium has been nicknamed “The Factory.”
Fan support can be challenging in Ypsilanti since it has to compete with four other FBS schools in the state, two of which are power house Big Ten teams. Still, Rynearson Stadium is a nice setting for a college football game. Building a winning culture is the next step toward making “The Factory” more of a destination.