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Posted on Sat, Sep 3, 2011 : 6:05 p.m.

Extreme heat takes toll on fans at Michigan Stadium; HVA calls for assistance

By Staff


Yousef Al-Haymi of Livonia drinks from a bag of ice while attempting to beat the heat in the stands before the start of the season home opener against Western Michigan at Michigan Stadium on Saturday.

Melanie Maxwell |

With temperatures on the field reportedly reaching 120 degrees, the heat overwhelmed fans at Michigan Stadium. Huron Valley Ambulance says the high number of heat-related cases it handled caused it to call for backup from the Ann Arbor Fire Department.

HVA officials did not have information on the exact number of fans who were treated for heat-related concerns, but said it was unusually high.

"It's extremely busy at Michigan Stadium,'' said Terry Pappas, communications supervisor for HVA. "We have multiple heat-related incidents and the Ann Arbor Fire Department is helping.''

The temperature was 92 degrees at game time, and even after a cloudburst moved through Ann Arbor, forcing a 20-minute delay early in the third quarter of the game between Michigan and Western Michigan, temperatures remained in the 90s when the game resumed. The game was then postponed and then called off as another wave of storms moved into the area.

The first heavy rain, though brief, did provide on benefit — a spectacular rainbow over Michigan Stadium.

MGoBlog reported that 10 members of the WMU marching band were treated after being overcome by heat.

Connor Dean, a Michigan student working at one of the Absopure Hydration stations at the stadium, said his station had exhausted nearly its entire 450-gallon supply of water by halftime.

Dean said a hydration station would typically go through about 225 gallons of water for an entire game. “This is crazy for a normal game,” Dean said.

Asked what the protocol is if the water ran out, he said, "We’ve never really been in a situation where we’ve run out, so we don’t really know the protocol for that.''

Dean said he would likely call Absobure sales representative Bill Carbott in event of running out. Carbott told that he was was too busy to speak as he was working on restocking all the stations.

There are 7 Absopure Hydraftion stations around the stadium at which 8-oz. cups of water are given away for free.

Following the game, a spokeswoman for the U-M Department of Public Safety said she wasn't able to obtain any final figures on the number of people who received medical care at the stadium. "It was a very large number,'' said Diane Brown, adding that most of the cases were heat-related.

Ful the latest weather information, check the weather page.



Mon, Sep 5, 2011 : 6:46 p.m.

Individuals should be allowed to bring unopened bottles of water into the sadium, especially on hot days, especially when the hydration stations cannot keep up with the demand. This is just one of the several reasons I chose not to renew my season tickets of many years. It just wasn't fun anymore. I can go to the fridge and get the food and beverage of my choice, keep my house the temperature I desire and make a two minute bathroom trip. Go Blue!

Dana Muir

Sun, Sep 4, 2011 : 4:23 p.m.

I stood in line at halftime at one of the concession stands to get one of the 'free' cups of water (there was a sign prominently posted that complimentary cups of water were available). When I got to the front, I was told that they were out of the 'free' cups. But the woman agreed to give me a paper cup of ice for $4.

just a voice

Sun, Sep 4, 2011 : 3:48 p.m.

paragraph 5; "provide on benefit" should be one, not on


Sun, Sep 4, 2011 : 1:51 p.m.

why was that guy drinking from a bag of ice, did he not know michigan is gracious enough to provide 4 dollar waters? they had plenty of water, ample stock in case there was an overload of patrons of the big house who got thirsty in the 100 degree heat. Also, he should have not been allowed to bring in that ice bag, was that snuck in? He should have been kicked out and not even offered to pay for a 4 dollar bottle of water. Go Blue!!


Sun, Sep 4, 2011 : 1:51 p.m.

Absopure Hydraftion Hot water! It's never cold. Though free, what's the point? Same as drinking hot tea.


Sun, Sep 4, 2011 : 8:25 p.m.

from a health prospective water is water. You still get just as hydrated...


Sun, Sep 4, 2011 : 12:44 p.m.

Before the days of air conditioned luxury boxes, when we Michigan fans all had to endure the elements as equals, there was no ban on bringing your own water to the stadium. I love my school but if UofM is not prepared to provide easy access to water FOR FREE then it should be required to fully cover the medical costs incurred for those treated both during and after the game. This attempt to force people to the concession stands or stand in line for an 8oz Dixie cup is unethical and abhorrent behavior. I suggest everyone purchase a collapsing soft water bottle from a camping store, roll it up and put it in your pocket for game day. I refuse to be forced to buy water!

Jim Osborn

Sun, Sep 4, 2011 : 1:58 a.m.

Doesn't this poorly run stadium keep records from prior years that include water used, temperature, humidity, sunny or not... the number of people who passed out? If they did they would know ahead of time how much water was needed or see that they had serious problems 10 years ago. after 9/11. History repeats itself if it is forgotten

David Briegel

Sun, Sep 4, 2011 : 12:48 a.m.

I've been commenting about the "too busy to talk to you" free advertising in the "no advertising" stadium for several years. If I were you people I would never buy their product again. And I heartily agree that it is borderline uncivilized to deprive you of your own and then charge you $4! But you keep taking it, giving them your money and asking for more abuse. Don't forget to go to Texas next year for the good game. Make Jerry Jones happy and richer! Go Blue!

zip the cat

Sun, Sep 4, 2011 : 12:28 a.m.

So whats more important your health or some stupid football game. Takes alot of smarts to sit out in the sun at 110 degrees plus. Time for a wake up call all you 100K plus people


Sun, Sep 4, 2011 : 12:27 a.m.

I'd like to second jrigglem's point about how fans not being able to bring in their own reusable water bottles is a horrible policy. Borderline unethical, really, when you consider the implications of distancing 100,000 people from free water, the one substance we all collectively rely on. I love Michigan athletics. I hope they decide to change their policy on this. ...And I thought there wasn't supposed to be any advertising in the stadium. "Absopure Hydrations stations"... really?! All rants aside, I'm glad the team won! Go Blue!


Sat, Sep 3, 2011 : 10:50 p.m.

Really? I mean really? It said 100 degrees on my remote reader. We are dealing with over 100,000 people and they haven't thought of the protocol! What if the stadium becomes an evacuation site for several days? Come on people put your thinking hats on!


Sat, Sep 3, 2011 : 10:44 p.m.

U-M Campus Bus System also added several buses to aid as Cooling Stations.

Kai Petainen

Sat, Sep 3, 2011 : 10:37 p.m.

this has got to be a difficult day for public safety officials. heat, traffic jams, running out of water, big crowds, lightning.... it can't be easy. my hats off to those working/helping today.


Sat, Sep 3, 2011 : 10:28 p.m.

Gee, who is surprised by this? Maybe if they were allowed to bring in their own reusable bottles, this wouldn't even be an issue.


Sun, Sep 4, 2011 : 5:19 a.m.

I tried to bring in an empty and was told by one person I couldn't because it was a projectile. Let's see if I buy a $4 bottle of water it isn't a projectile?! The another person said well why don't you just buy some inside... It's all about the mighty dollar :-(