You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Fri, Aug 30, 2013 : 1:41 p.m.

Everything you need to know about Saturday's road closure on Main Street

By Ryan J. Stanton


This map shows the University of Michigan's plan for creating a vehicle-free zone around Michigan Stadium during football games. The red lines represent hard closures with police barricades, the blue lines represent soft closures with police allowing controlled local traffic, the yellow lines represent soft closures, and the pink areas represent street closures.

City of Ann Arbor

In case you haven't gotten the memo already, Main Street will completely shut down in front of the Big House for Saturday's football game in Ann Arbor.

Exactly how that will play out remains to be seen, but don't be surprised if you see police redirecting traffic around the stadium using Stadium and Pauline boulevards and Seventh Street.

This scene is expected to repeat itself during all home football games this fall as the University of Michigan puts in place a plan to create a vehicle-free zone around the stadium.


Main Street will be closed between Pauline and Stadium boulevards both before and during, though not after, University of Michigan football games this fall, starting with Saturday's game.

Daniel Brenner |

The enhanced security measures were recommended by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, which has warned thousands of people could be killed if a terrorist detonated a vehicle bomb outside the Big House.

Northbound Main Street will close three hours before the game and remain closed until the end of the game. Southbound Main Street will close starting one hour before the game, a compromise the city made to allow patrons to access neighborhood parking areas west of the stadium.

The game starts at 3:30 p.m.

Provisions will be made for properties — including lawn parking areas — with access exclusively on Main Street, according to police.

In addition to barricades preventing motorists from driving down Main Street between Pauline and Stadium, there will be some "soft closures" in the neighborhood just west of the stadium, with police allowing controlled local traffic on those streets.

The City Council voted 7-4 earlier this month to authorize the street closings in the vicinity of Michigan Stadium, a move supported by Police Chief John Seto.

Seto said he's on the scene during all home football games and he'll be focusing on the Main Street closure for the first few games and evaluating how it's working out.

A community meeting with the Ann Arbor Police Department is scheduled for 6 p.m. Sept. 24 at Pioneer High School to discuss any potential modifications to the road closures. Seto and other officials will be on hand at that meeting to collect feedback from the public.

Questions also can be submitted to

In addition to Main Street, the university's plan includes closing Keech Street between Main and Greene streets, limiting access to parking permit holders on Greene Street from Hoover to Keech streets; and closing the westbound right-turn lane (onto Main Street) on Stadium Boulevard.

After the game — or at the discretion of the city's police chief — barricades will be removed as soon as practical and Main Street will be open for traffic leaving town.

If you want to mark your calendars, this year's home games fall on Aug. 31, Sept. 7, Sept. 14, Oct. 5, Oct. 19, Nov. 9 and Nov. 30.

Ryan J. Stanton covers government and politics for Reach him at or 734-623-2529. You also can follow him on Twitter or subscribe to's email newsletters.



Sat, Aug 31, 2013 : 6:55 p.m.

Glad I now live in Ypsilanti, I'm not going anywhere near A2 on game days!!!


Sat, Aug 31, 2013 : 3:31 p.m.

real times for when this will take place would be very helpful!


Sat, Aug 31, 2013 : 12:30 p.m.

" Seto and other officials will be on hand at that meeting to collect feedback from the public." They had one of those before they approved the closure and the feedback was "don't close Main St". Why even bother - council has already rolled over for the U. Hopefully the next city council will have some guts and put an end to this.


Fri, Aug 30, 2013 : 11:18 p.m.

i love the way its so clear.5 shades of pink+no street names on sure they did this so the city wont make extra ticket $.U.M. DEFEATS O.S.U. TWICE IN 2013!


Fri, Aug 30, 2013 : 6:59 p.m.

Without reading anything into the closing, it just seems like a good idea. Safer for pedestrians and who wants to drive through all the car and pedestrian traffic anyway. Plenty of ways to get around West Ann Arbor without Main Street.


Sat, Aug 31, 2013 : 3:33 p.m.

This is a safety issue and the decision was made with a lot of data and deliberation. and as for driving near the stadium on game days, it was hard to do before they decided to close the street. I do think that better information about times would be helpful.


Fri, Aug 30, 2013 : 9:21 p.m.

clown This doesn't have to do with ancient history. Just go back to the marathon.


Fri, Aug 30, 2013 : 9:01 p.m.

What is the history of incident and injury on Main St during football Saturdays? I don't think it will show a need to close a main thoroughfare, but I could be wrong.

Nicholas Urfe

Fri, Aug 30, 2013 : 8:09 p.m.

It may not be so safe for pedestrians who walk and live along the detour route. Driving there on Main St. before games, especially lower key games, is quite often perfectly fine. Also, many of us drive around town *during* the game because the streets are very quiet at that time.


Fri, Aug 30, 2013 : 7:52 p.m.

Are you kidding? If you live anywhere near this area you might as well forget about driving on game days.

Nicholas Urfe

Fri, Aug 30, 2013 : 6:32 p.m.

I notice that Montcalm street apparently runs right up against Comerica Park in Detroit. Do they close that street to all traffic during games? If not, why not?


Sat, Aug 31, 2013 : 2:09 p.m.

Actually, yes, they DO close all the streets right up against Comerica. Let's ignore the terrorism BS for a minute - closing direct frontage streets to major sporting events is still a pretty good idea. You have hoards of people swarming the streets; being confined to narrow sidewalks is difficult and dangerous. This is a unique case where the street is perhaps the most important one in all of Ann Arbor, but we'll see how it goes today.

Chip Reed

Fri, Aug 30, 2013 : 9:19 p.m.

Some streets are closed by Comerica...


Fri, Aug 30, 2013 : 7:16 p.m.

There are larger streets with many more routes and thoroughfares in the area of Comerica park that can provide access in and out of the area. The placement of the UM Football stadium is such that the traffic needs to be totally diverted to deal with the excess number of vehicles and pedestrians in the area on game days.

Jon Saalberg

Fri, Aug 30, 2013 : 6:54 p.m.

You are absolutely correct - streets around Comerica Park are open to traffic at all times - before, during, and after the game. Perhaps our high-brow UM crowd presents a more inviting target for Al Qaeda?

Jon Saalberg

Fri, Aug 30, 2013 : 6:14 p.m.

"The enhanced security measures were recommended by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, which has warned thousands of people could be killed if a terrorist detonated a vehicle bomb outside the Big House." If I was not reading this in August, I would think this is an April Fool's Day story. The terrorists have already won - this measure proves that.

Jello Biafra

Fri, Aug 30, 2013 : 6:12 p.m.

You want to close the road? Fine. But don't give us that b.s. about "terrorism". We're smarter than that.


Sat, Aug 31, 2013 : 12:22 p.m.

"Better safe than sorry"? Then why even have a game? It would be much safer to not have one at all.

Great Lakes Lady

Fri, Aug 30, 2013 : 10:15 p.m.

No one ever thought a bomb would be detonated at the Boston Marathon, either. Better safe than sorry. Glad they're taking precautions.


Fri, Aug 30, 2013 : 6:01 p.m.

This feels like a bit of an overreaction, but I guess better safe than sorry! Just another reason to avoid A2 on football days...


Fri, Aug 30, 2013 : 7:13 p.m.

You should be at the game!