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Posted on Thu, Oct 13, 2011 : 3:57 p.m.

$14M renovation to Yost Ice Arena will trim total seats - but add premium seating

By Kellie Woodhouse


Michigan fans dance along to the band as Michigan took on Niagara University in their season opener at Yost Ice Arena Tuesday October, 4, 2011. Michigan won the match 5-0.

Jeff Sainlar I

Once the University of Michigan Yost Ice Arena undergoes a $14 million renovation, its capacity will decrease by about 400 seats, a project architect told the U-M Board of Regents today.

Seating at the Ann Arbor ice arena will go from about 6,200 to 5,800.

"The capacity will go down some," said Henry Baier, associate vice president for facilities and operations. Yost's current maximum capacity —which is different than seating— is approximately 6,600.

But while seating overall will decrease, premium seating will increase.

"The premium seating will go from about 300 to about 500," said Matt Rossetti, a principal with Rossetti Architecture Inc, the firm designing the renovation.

The proposed renovation will replace the majority of spectator seating and includes improvements to the east and west concourses. Additionally, transparent windows will replace the current windows, which are opaque. The transparent windows will not allow glare.

"Yost Arena, form our perspective,… is always the model that people want to be like," Rossetti said. "We’ve enhanced the legacy by bringing back the old luster."

A level-four media balcony will be converted into a series of luxury boxes and a new level of seating on the arena's west side will be created for media.

Corner platforms will also be added for more seating.

Rossetti said the corner platforms will become "probably the best seats in the house"

Non-premium seating will remain bleacher style.

"It's such a tiny containter you cannot [have seat backing]," Rossetti said.


New Yost scoreboard

Angela J. Cesere |

Rossetti's schematic design for the multimillion dollar renovation was approved by the regents at their meeting today in Flint. The renovation concept was approved by the regents in June.

The regents also voted to let the athletic department award early procurement packages, which will allow contractors to begin certain aspects of construction without regents' approval, such as crafting new bleachers.

Speeding up the construction process is necessary in order to reach the scheduled completion date of fall 2012, Baier told the regents.

According to Baier, construction on the actual arena will not begin until the end of this year's hockey season. Renovations will be finished by the start of next season.

"That is speedy," U-M President Mary Sue Coleman said.

"We have to play hockey here and we're going to make that happen," Baier said.

The renovation is part of a series of facelifts for Yost.

It follows the June installation of a new LED scoreboard with nine video boards. The scoreboards were part of a $20 million project to replace the decade-old scoreboards at Yost, Crisler Arena and Michigan Stadium.

"There will new lighting, new VAC and this absolutely fantastic scoreboard," Rossetti said.

During construction, several parking spots will be obstructed, limiting parking near the arena this season. However, there will be no permanent parking loss due to construction.

Thumbnail image for YOST-ICE-ARENA.JPG

The project will be funded by the athletic department, according to a memo addressed to the board of regents.

Yost was built in 1923 and has served as home for the Michigan hockey team since 1973. The arena was renovated in 2001 to add a club-level balcony on the east side. In 1996, a $5.5 million renovation remodeled seating, locker rooms and administrative offices.

Kellie Woodhouse covers higher education for Reach her at or 734-623-4602 and follow her on twitter.


Jim H

Mon, Mar 12, 2012 : 10:48 p.m.

I love Yost Arena, skating & watching games. It feels like home. I can't wait to see the new windows!


Fri, Oct 14, 2011 : 9:29 p.m.

More premium seating so the average family/fan can't affrod to go? Michigan is becoming an elitist institution.


Fri, Oct 14, 2011 : 2:51 p.m.

I'm having deja season tickets for 30+ years and experiencing the seat reassignment in Crisler some years ago when the university line was that if you were moved you could count on an equitable I presume that next season my 30+ years of hockey tickets will also be in jeopardy...and i'll once again end up in the rafters after giving up a really nice location...


Fri, Oct 14, 2011 : 1:41 p.m.

Have been a season ticket holder for years and am glad they are finally getting around to replacing the seating. In the south end the bench seats are crap and the stairs are deadly when they are wet in the winter. As for boxes go for it. Someone will buy them. However, the premium seats on the east side are never full which makes one wonder why mor e would be added. Can't wait till they get the barn fixed up. Yost has been a dump far too long even though the best venue in the country to watch college hockey.

tom swift jr.

Fri, Oct 14, 2011 : 12:36 p.m.

""Yost Arena, form our perspective,… is always the model that people want to be like,"" What???? Even with the typos corrected, this still doesn't make any sense...


Fri, Oct 14, 2011 : 3:24 a.m.

People on here obviously live I'm an alternate universe from the rest of us. UM has and always will be a haven for elitists. From it's entrance requirements to the cost of tuition, Michigan is elite in every way. Dave Brandom is simply following the modus operandi of the University as whole. The fact is most UM students and Ann Arborites are elitists. If you want to see the true 99 per centers come to Ypsilanti, Detroit, Downriver, etc. That is middle America, not bourgeois Ann Arbor and the phonies sitting on their butts in protests. We workers are too busy working to protest. We are not as fortunate as the OWS people to be able to afford to not have to work for food and shelter. OWS is as elite as Wall Street is.

Craig Lounsbury

Fri, Oct 14, 2011 : 11:22 a.m.

I have lived in Ann Arbor since 1984. Prior to that I lived in Ypsilanti from 1961 to that 1984 move (minus a short 2 year stint in Arizona. ) So I have around 21 years in Ypsilanti and 27 years in Ann Arbor. I find your hyperbole less than accurate on many levels. There are plenty of your "Ypsilanti style" folks in Ann Arbor.


Fri, Oct 14, 2011 : 2:11 a.m.

There is a solution to this disregard for students and the average fan. Next time a Regent runs for re-election, vote them out and do it again and again until they realize who runs this University. The voting citizens of the State of Michigan.


Fri, Oct 14, 2011 : 2:38 a.m.

oh how we wish that more Regents were elected, not just political and business cronies like most of the public universities in Michigan have to suffer with.

the artist

Fri, Oct 14, 2011 : 1:50 a.m.

I used to take my three kids and my wife to the hockey games for about $18 and got to sit behind the glass! Of course 20 years before that I bought gas for 14 cents a gallon... but it true, only those with money can enjoy the games. $70 to see EMU play U of M at the Big House? Really?


Fri, Oct 14, 2011 : 1:38 a.m.

The "premium" seats they have now are never 100% full. But the crammed in fans down in steerage are always full. Guess me and my kids will be the 400 faithful that are squeezed out. 'tanks fer nuttin', Danny.

Homeland Conspiracy

Fri, Oct 14, 2011 : 12:53 a.m.

"Let them eat cake"


Fri, Oct 14, 2011 : 12:22 a.m.

As long as the corporations make money (and the U counts as one). The trickle-down will reach the common folk eventually. It has been 30 years with no delivery, but hey we cut your education so you can't tell the difference any longer.


Fri, Oct 14, 2011 : 1:07 a.m.

and.... reading comprehension was the first to go.

David Briegel

Fri, Oct 14, 2011 : 1:03 a.m.

And the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny will be making deliveries. But you believe in Fairy Tales like "trickle down"!

David Briegel

Thu, Oct 13, 2011 : 10:29 p.m.

Hey, This is America. You can't/don't expect the 1%er's to be subjected to the "atmosphere" that includes us 99%er's. Why should hockey be different from Yost's destroyed vision of an egalitarian society?


Thu, Oct 13, 2011 : 9:26 p.m.

more for the rich? less for the less-rich? yup, sounds about right in America.


Thu, Oct 13, 2011 : 9:20 p.m.

If premium seating is soooo important why not make the whole site premium seating and have a token bench in the back for the loud students. After all they should be in dorms studying. :+} When they graduate they could come back and enjoy the premium seats.


Thu, Oct 13, 2011 : 8:40 p.m.

And so the crusade to remove the average fan from the equation continues! Dave Brandon may be a marketing genius, BUT he has NO concern for the average fan! Bo must be turning over in his grave to see one of his former players turn his back on the ones that have supported the U all these years. If only I could say what I really think of this trend toward elitism!


Thu, Oct 13, 2011 : 9:41 p.m.

I think Bo's turned over in his grave so many times the past few years he doesn't know up from down!


Thu, Oct 13, 2011 : 8:30 p.m.

Nothing wrong with this picture. the U is just staying on message. Less riff raff and more hoi polio what could be better? Oy wr live in our own Two Towers epic but instead of Sauron and Sarumon we have the mayor and council vs the Regents at the U Joy


Fri, Oct 14, 2011 : 12:46 p.m.

arborani, yes sorry random spell checking depending on the device I'm on jon67, Thank you for the correction! I pride myself on a decent vocab but you learn something new everyday, eh?


Fri, Oct 14, 2011 : 2:42 a.m.

Or, per google search top suggestions: Hoi Polloi, an art museum in Grand Rapids : )


Thu, Oct 13, 2011 : 9:59 p.m.

"Hoi polloi" actually has exactly the opposite meaning of what you intended. People seem to ALWAYS make this usage mistake.


Thu, Oct 13, 2011 : 9:09 p.m.

Is there a vaccine for hoi polio? One that the hoi polloi can afford?

Craig Lounsbury

Thu, Oct 13, 2011 : 8:29 p.m.

The important thing in the college athletic experience is to maximize the enjoyment of the well- heeled . If this means a few less seats for the unwashed masses...errrr...... tuition paying students its a small price to pay.


Thu, Oct 13, 2011 : 8:10 p.m.

The almighty dollar speaks again.

Craig Lounsbury

Thu, Oct 13, 2011 : 8:22 p.m.