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Posted on Thu, Aug 29, 2013 : 5:59 a.m.

7 changes Wolverine football fans can expect at Michigan Stadium this fall

By Kellie Woodhouse


A new 48-foot-wide video marquee outside the Big House, pictured here on August 28, is just one of the several changes that will greet Michigan fans during the season's first home game Saturday.

Melanie Maxwell |

It's officially football season again in Ann Arbor.

That means tailgating will be in full swing this fall, tens of thousands of fans will descend upon the Big House on Saturdays beginning this weekend and Ann Arborites will be indistinguishable in a sea of maize and blue.

But included in the mix are some things fans might not be used to: a 48-foot-wide video marquee outside Michigan Stadium, a brighter bowl due to a $6 million stadium paint job and a very long line outside the stadium as University of Michigan students jockey for the best seats under the venue's new general admission seating policy.

Michigan Stadium will also be hosting it second-ever night game when the Wolverines play Notre Dame on Sept. 7.

Here's a look at seven changes you can expect at the stadium and on football Saturdays this fall.


1) General admission seating in the student section

Michigan for the first year is adopting a general admission seating policy, as opposed to the school's historic practice of seating students based on seniority. The change means that seniors and juniors aren't guaranteed student section seats near the action, as they were before. Now they'll have to get to the stadium early to secure a seat near the field or at the 30-yard line.

The policy changed to encourage early attendance to games so the stadium is full and the Wolverines have a home field advantage. Last year, the student section averaged a 25 percent no-show rate at home games, up from 21 percent the year before. On average about 50 percent of the student section was present during kickoff, according to Hunter Lochman, a senior associate athletic director in charge of the department's marketing efforts.

"The straw that broke the camel's back was probably the Northwestern game last November. We were fighting for the division lead and you looked up at kickoff and it was 50 percent full, which was disappointing," he said.

"We knew we had to try something new."

2) Main Street closure

It will be a lot easier for pedestrians to walk around the stadium on game day, but more difficult for motorists to navigate around the city. That's because the Ann Arbor City Council agreed to close South Main Street — from Stadium Boulevard to Pauline Boulevard — during and before home games.

The northbound lane on Main will be closed three hours before the games until the games end; the southbound lane will be closed an hour before the game starts and during the game. Residents who live along the affected stretch of Main and fans who pay to park in residential yards will be allowed to access properties along Main.

Traffic will be detoured using Pauline and Seventh Street.

The council approved the closures in a 7-4 vote. The university will reimburse the city for additional police presence required to enforce the closures.

"It's to help better ensure the safety and security of patrons as well as surrounding neighborhoods," Jim Kosteva, the school's community relations director, said in July, adding that U-M officials think the measure will "reduce the potential for vehicle-borne attacks."

3) A 48-foot wide marquee

Wondering what the oversized flatscreen is doing outside Michigan Stadium?

With a $2.8-million price tag, the marquee was installed over the spring and summer. The audio-capable board, which is visible from Stadium Boulevard, stands 21 feet above the ground and is 27 feet tall and 48 feet wide. U-M plans to use the board to promote athletic department events and live stream warm-ups and game plays during the game.

4) A line and chute system for student entry

If students want a premium seat, they'll have to show up early— especially for big events like the upcoming Notre Dame night game. For noon and 3:30 p.m. kickoffs, the athletic department is allowing students to begin lining up at 7 a.m. in a queue that will run from stadium Lot SC 2, head north on Greene Street and spill over onto East Hoover Avenue if necessary. Students can start getting in line at 11 a.m. the day of the Notre Dame night game.

Students will not be allowed to camp out overnight prior to the day of a game.


The student section in Michigan Stadium will have general admission seating this year.

Joseph Tobianski | file

The athletic department plans to have portable bathrooms in place for students in line. There will also be a DJ, cellphone-charging stations, water stations and free food. The department is hoping to create a fan experience in the line because, as Lochman puts it, "we're fighting with 60-inch TVs and kids sitting at home pre-gaming."

U-M officials aren't allowing alcohol consumption in line. The athletic department hired a security firm to help U-M police monitor the line and enforce the no alcohol rule. Lt. Renee Bush said the Ann Arbor Police Department is not making any special plans for policing the area where students will be lining up.

About four hours before kickoff, the first 3,000 students in line will be given wristbands that allow them into the first 22 rows of the student section. The rows will be divided into four chutes, with each chute labeled a letter of coach Brady Hoke's last name. Students are allowed to pick their section until each chute is full.

Students will be let into the stadium three hours before kickoff— an hour earlier than other fans.

Getting in line will likely guarantee a student a premium seat, but it might not be necessary in order to nab one.

"One of the biggest issues we faced when we announced [the general admission seating policy] were the irate upperclassman or parents of upperclassmen who said, 'Now my kids have to wait all day in line to get a decent seat.' I disagree with that because a decent seat is in the eye of the beholder," Lochman said. "You might be able to show up half an hour before kickoff and still get a seat right at the 30-yard line."

The athletic department is launching a website to help guide students through the game day process. The website will have a webcam on which students can watch a live feed of the general admission queue. The website, which is still under construction, will also include a ticket marketplace where students can communicate about selling and buying individual student tickets.

5) A smaller student section

The student section this year includes about 20,000 students — or 2,000 fewer than the previous year. The smaller student section led the athletic department to open up 2,000 seats at the back of the section to non-student ticket holders.


Main Street near Michigan Stadium will be closed during home football games.

Daniel Brenner |

Student ticket prices rose 23 percent per game this year due to a $7.50 per-game increase that will be funneled to gym renovations. Michigan plays seven home games this year, one more than last year. The price, coupled with the new student seating policy, likely contributed to the decline in tickets.

The schedule could also have a bearing on student interest, although this year home games include the school's second-ever night game and the Ohio State game.

"Depending upon what your home schedule looks like, sometimes that will dictate the ebb and flow of demand," Dave Ablauf, the department's associate athletic director in charge of public relations and media, said.

6) A newly painted stadium bowl

It cost the Michigan athletic department $6 million, used 3,500 gallons of paint and took 50 workers to complete — but the iconic Big House now has a fresh coat of paint. Crews blasted the old paint off and applied new paint using airless spray pumps.

The result? A brighter, newer-looking Michigan Stadium.

7) A looser student loyalty program

Last fall Michigan launched its HAIL student loyalty program. The intent was to reward students who regularly attend U-M sporting events, giving them loyalty points for attending non-revenue sports or for getting to revenue sports on time.

For example, students had to get to home football games 20 minutes before kickoff and stay for the duration of the game to receive the maximum loyalty points for attending that game. Students' location was tracked using an app on their smartphones.

This year, however, students will get points for simply having their ticket scanned — regardless of when they come or leave. The change is largely due to connectivity issues at the stadium. With more than 110,000 fans filtering in and out of the stadium on game days, cellphone reception is unreliable.

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


Mackinac Straits

Sat, Aug 31, 2013 : 1:36 p.m.

Student queues eh? Oh, great. We pay the University for reserved parking in one of the lots now designated as an assembly point for 20,000 students. That'll be fun. Having to fight for space for parking and tailgating with a crowd of students is not an experience for which we pay a considerable sum to the University. And no provision for policing or crowd control What could go wrong?


Fri, Aug 30, 2013 : 5:07 a.m.

Following a pattern?? many, fewer, seats will be available to students next year?


Fri, Aug 30, 2013 : 4:27 a.m.

As per #3, the "48 foot wide marquee." Now, I won't go into the aesthetic decisions that went into plopping this behemoth within inches (or so it seems) of the even larger and costlier screen at the south end of the stadium; or the amount of light pollution that emanates from this over-clocked gift to Detroit Edison's coffers, but: Doesn't the placement of this "sign on steroids" violate every commandment in the New Testament of logo and branding that all university departments are sworn to adhere to? I mean, for gosh sakes, heading west on Stadium you can barely make out the giant Logo M that the new sign obliterates. It seems blasphemous. And furthermore- it is just plain ugly, way too bright at night, and is an affront to Planet Blue, planet green and all sense of scale and decency. It's wrong and should be removed!

Frustrated in A2

Fri, Aug 30, 2013 : 4:12 a.m.

I drove past that marquee board earlier this evening. Make sure you put sun glasses on at 7th street if you're going east and S. Industrial if you're going west or you're going to scald your pupils!!!


Sat, Aug 31, 2013 : 12:32 a.m.

...or even sear your retinas.

Jello Biafra

Thu, Aug 29, 2013 : 8:31 p.m.

Jim Kosteva, the school's community relations director, said in July, adding that U-M officials think the measure will "reduce the potential for vehicle-borne attacks." What a clown.

Jello Biafra

Thu, Aug 29, 2013 : 8:27 p.m.

Going to M games has become a miserable experience all around with the police state we live in.


Thu, Aug 29, 2013 : 6:42 p.m.

I think that the whole UM administration should be taken to the Michigan Theater and made to watch Groucho Marx as President Quincy Adams Wagstaff in Horse Feathers. And while we are at it, they should turn up the sound to match the crazy volume of the system in the stadium--turn it down!!!!!


Thu, Aug 29, 2013 : 6:09 p.m.

One has to wonder if the unsightly billboard (garish to be sure) even complies with the city sign ordinance? (or was an exemption provided form the eyesore. Can we expect to see advertising that can be sold to raise more money for the ATHLETIC program] on game days or whenever? Sometimes it appears that University directed city of Ann Arbor has little control over what is considered desirable by this institution. DavidM


Thu, Aug 29, 2013 : 6:39 p.m.

Unfortunately, the U is not subject to any such city rules. The horrid block M, part of the new silly branding mentality, is bad enough!

Glenn Galler

Thu, Aug 29, 2013 : 5:58 p.m.

I think the reason for the decrease in student interest is due to the fact that the U-M has increased the number of out of state and international students. The strong allegiance to Michigan has decreased.

David Briegel

Thu, Aug 29, 2013 : 5:19 p.m.

I just looked and there are still tickets available for home football games. Maybe the "genius" is not succeeding at his marketing plan to fill his Coliseum. And when do they feed the Christians to the lions?


Thu, Aug 29, 2013 : 11:59 p.m.

The Lions are a good cornerback or safety from stealing a lot of Brandon's business.


Thu, Aug 29, 2013 : 11:22 p.m.

We playing the LIONS this year?


Thu, Aug 29, 2013 : 5:02 p.m.

I can't wait to take my picture standing in the middle of Main street and next to the new marquee board just because I know how angry it makes some silly people around here.


Thu, Aug 29, 2013 : 4:08 p.m.

Now, I am totally lost here. People are talking about ticket holders coming late to the games. This is the reason for the chute system. Show up early, get a wrist band and be the first to grab a seat in student area. Just how is this going to fix the issue of the NO-SHOWS? They did decrease the student section by 2000 seats and opened them up to awaiting fans. This will fill many of those vacant seats that the students failed to purchase on game day, but will do nothing for the no show season ticket holder. The added price of the season tickets may mean that fewer season tickets are sold, as many of the students feel that some of the best seats at the BIG HOUSE is in front of a 60" high definition screen in their room. Most of the cost of the game is not in the ticket prices. Or is this line for students purchasing tickets day of game?


Thu, Aug 29, 2013 : 3:16 p.m.

Haven't the rules changed from last year somewhat with respect to what you can bring into the stadium? That seems to me to be a *much* more important thing to tell / remind fans about in the days right before the first game than the number of tickets reserved for the student section.


Thu, Aug 29, 2013 : 10:21 p.m.

Actually, those rules haven't changed at all.


Thu, Aug 29, 2013 : 3:08 p.m.

Students are not showing up because they are NOT interested in the drunken ridiculousness that occurs there. My U of M student and her friends stopped after three games because of all the drunken bad behavior. It seems the U of M closes their eyes to all the underage drinking that occurs. Football games should not be excuses to drink excessively. How many people have been hit by cars during game day, on main st? none?Closing off the streets is not about safety, it is about being able to pack more people on line for the general seating... getting people to stand in line 3 hours before a game, without the ability to drink is not likely to occur. If the U of M wants to attract more students, do not do it with free food and DJ's do it with free drawings for textbooks, and food cards to the cafeteria, things that the students can use for school, they will fill up the stadium, if they know they may win a $100 text book. The U of M football games make millions, promote a give back, instead of promoting stupid.


Thu, Aug 29, 2013 : 6:54 p.m.

@Kris... Research? the reason is clear, why would I want to be outside with people when I can hide in my dorm room and watch game on my 4.7 inch smartphone screen? {facetious mode off now}


Thu, Aug 29, 2013 : 6:26 p.m.

For someone who said that you've never been to a game and don't understand the appeal of football, you seem to have a lot to say about what happens at games and why people go to them.


Thu, Aug 29, 2013 : 6:04 p.m.

I can't help but suspect all of this is a way to winnow down the number of student tickets even more. Make the process expensive, unfriendly and unpleasant and even less students show. Which is all the ammo you need to reduce # of student tickets next year and release more expensive seats for richer attendees. Somewhere in the bureaucracy is an accountant who showed just how much more each game would bring in if they didn't have student priced tickets at all. And it's viewed by someone as a goal to work toward. Conspiracy theory? Maybe (even likely), but not out of the realm of believable/possible.


Thu, Aug 29, 2013 : 3:15 p.m.

Great ideas! I wonder if the athletic dept. did any research as to why student attendance has fallen off. I seriously doubt that long lines and higher prices are going to remedy the situation, but I am no marketing expert.

Kellie Woodhouse

Thu, Aug 29, 2013 : 2:52 p.m.

Also: There will be a large TV at the line for students to watch as they wait.


Thu, Aug 29, 2013 : 5:51 p.m.

I suppose the students are going to the stadium to see a live game. The fact that Joe Louis Arena has televisions mounted over the concession stands does not mean fans should have stayed home. The Big House scoreboard showing live action doesn't cause the 110,000 fans each game to stay home.


Thu, Aug 29, 2013 : 3:10 p.m.

Why would they need to go into the stadium then, with free food, toilets, DJ and TV coverage, they should just bring a chair and enjoy!!


Thu, Aug 29, 2013 : 2:49 p.m.

This change is not going to fill the student section. Latecomers are going to still be latecomers. ********************** On Aug 24, 2012, AA dot com wrote the following statement regarding the sports articles that are shown on AA dot com, but no longer available to AA dot com commenters, only to those with MLive accounts. That statement still is on the link for each sports article at the end. "-Future changes that will restore commenting directly on Wolverine sports articles and improve comment history are in development and coming soon on" This statement was written Aug 24, 2012, a year ago. Why is commenting on football stories still not available on aa dot com? Can someone from aa dot com respond to this with a reason for the delay a year later? What does "soon" mean that was written a year ago?


Thu, Aug 29, 2013 : 9:54 p.m.

Thank you, Kyle. I do think that in light of how long it is taking, you may want to revise the text on the comment link (for MLive sports articles) that was written a year ago on Aug 24, 2012 stating that commenting will be merged "soon" since a year has passed with no progress.

Kyle Mattson

Thu, Aug 29, 2013 : 3:01 p.m.

We're looking forward to the change as much as you are JRW, but this is out of the control of us in the newsroom. Hopefully we'll see something early this fall.


Thu, Aug 29, 2013 : 2:33 p.m.

Charging higher prices and making students stand in line for hours...I wonder if this is part of an overall, purposeful strategy aimed at reducing the size of the student section thus opening up even more seats for the non-student population. I know my U-M junior and several of his friends are infuriated by these new policies and refused to buy season tickets this year...but then they are more casual, rather than die-hard fans. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out.


Thu, Aug 29, 2013 : 2:18 p.m.

Really? Comments about how much the U of M spent on paint? C'mon people! Football season is upon us! Get fired up, put your game faces on and get ready to make some noise! As a Wolverine fan for 40+ years now, I look forward to each Saturday in the fall no matter what improvements the university makes to the Big House. Get over it! And I bet I cheer louder than you... Go Blue!


Thu, Aug 29, 2013 : 6:24 p.m.

The Lions aren't missing; they play down the road in Detroit. And if you can't figure out how 100,000+ people spending money here all those days benefits the city (and its tax paying businesses and residents....and the University in recruiting people to pay that tuition).....


Thu, Aug 29, 2013 : 5:45 p.m.

So A2centsworth, why should football income help you, me or any other resident? I get it, you hate college football. Fine. You are, however, slightly outvoted by about 110,000 votes.


Thu, Aug 29, 2013 : 3:20 p.m.

I am amused to see your enthusiasm mfan4life, as I find it interesting how some people are so into the football game phenomena. When I look at a game, all I see are concussions, and other injuries, and think of the Roman arenas, all that are missing are the lions. How does the money generated from these games help the U of M student? or the city of Ann Arbor and its residents? These millions of dollars do not seem to reduce tuition, or increase the size of the teeny tiny dorm rooms. So what is the purpose of these games, and the money they generate? Seeing the thousands of people maneuvering the streets in their maize and blue clothing to enter the stadium, looks to me like lemmings heading to the mother ship. I guess I simply do not understand this phenomena or what draws people to it. I do keep track of home games for the sole purpose of making sure I stay away from that part of town, other than that the only time I was ever in the stadium, was when my daughter graduated. I really wish someone could explain to me the intense interest in all this as I totally do not get it.


Thu, Aug 29, 2013 : 1:52 p.m.

"We were fighting for the division lead and you looked up at kickoff and it was 50 percent full, which was disappointing," he said. "We knew we had to try something new." And raising the student ticket price by nearly 25% is supposed to FIX this how? Seems like if demand for student tickets drops off when the price is $32.50, then raising the price to $40 probably isn't going to bring them back. (Is it me? Maybe I don't understand the laws of supply and demand.)


Thu, Aug 29, 2013 : 5:50 p.m.

Its because you live in yspi.

Kellie Woodhouse

Thu, Aug 29, 2013 : 2:33 p.m.

I think that one of the reasonings there is that if students pay more they might feel more obligated to show up.


Thu, Aug 29, 2013 : 1:49 p.m.

"48-foot-wide video marquee outside Michigan Stadium" I wonder how many traffic accidents will occur as a result of driver distractions from this monstrocity.


Thu, Aug 29, 2013 : 6:50 p.m.

Back in the 1960s Ann Arbor passed a sign ordinance. Before then Stadium was pock marked with car lots with bare light bulbs and the wonderful plastic flags. A lot of signs came down, a lot of businesses were unhappy. So is this sign (it is nothing more than a billboard) in or out of compliance with that ordinance?


Thu, Aug 29, 2013 : 3:23 p.m.

You should have seen the traffic when it frist came on a couple weeks ago. I swear people were swerving in that area more than than they do due to the uneven line painting and potholes on that section of Stadium. Add 109K people to the mix...? It's only a matter of time.


Thu, Aug 29, 2013 : 3:08 p.m.

Actually Merlin, my opinion is the people who might be distracted by the marquee will be to busy texting or tweeting. Don't get me wrong, I'm not thrilled with it either.


Thu, Aug 29, 2013 : 1:31 p.m.

The student seating policy will not change the late or no-shows. The majority of the empty seats that are such a disappointment to see are in the upper-bowl, above the entrance tunnels. The students who had good seats got to the games on time, there will still be no shows and late arrivals, especially since all the student seats are in the lower bowl, all great seats. It's another example of suits thinking they know what is best. If they would have asked for student input maybe they could have come up with a better policy to solve this issue. Many schools have a lottery each week for football tickets, with seniors having the highest priority etc. If you don't show up, or you scan your ticket late, your changes of getting good seats (or any seats) diminish for the next lottery.


Thu, Aug 29, 2013 : 10:18 p.m.

Um, sorry to break it to you teeters, but it is clear to me that you have never even been to the Big House. There is no upper bowl. There is no lower-bowl. Just a bowl. And the best seats in our house are the ones around the middle. Too high or too low are not optimal.

Kyle Mattson

Thu, Aug 29, 2013 : 1:46 p.m.

Hi teeters- 2,000 of those seats above the student section were opened up to the public this year:

P. J. Murphy

Thu, Aug 29, 2013 : 1:26 p.m.

It's hard to believe no so long ago, Boy Scouts were volunteer ushers, and on Band Day thousands of young musicians got in free. The University's headlong rush to generate revenue from it's Athletic Dept. has commercialized and cheapened every aspect of a long and distinguished tradition of amateur athletics. It's not about the sport anymore, it's just a spectacle, generated by a corporation to reap the greatest income possible. Calling any aspect of the football and basketball programs "amatuer" is absurd. It's a giant hypocracy that's tolerated simply because the money is too good to say "no". Who cares if less students attend the games? Those empty seats can now be sold at a much higher price. And of course the billboard. $2.8 million dollars of wretched excess. The best that can be said for it is that it's the perfect symbol of what's wrong with Brandon's Sports Disneyland at the corner of Main and Stadium.


Thu, Aug 29, 2013 : 5:40 p.m.

"Good old days" instead of "good days."


Thu, Aug 29, 2013 : 5:40 p.m.

No amount of longing for the good days is going to bring it back. If you want big time college football, you aren't going to see Boy Scouts ushering.

Kevin McGuinness

Thu, Aug 29, 2013 : 3:11 p.m.

Amen. The new electronic bill board (nice name from the university -- marquee?) is an eye sore as well as an unsafe distraction to people driving by. Glad to see Michigan LEADING the country in the commercialization of amateur student athletics. I sure the student athletes in other sports would have been happier if they used the marquee money as an endowment for scholarships -- but when was it ever about the student athlete. The marquee keeps spouting team team team but now has privileged suite seating for class segregation rather than a team of followers. They have made a grand stadium into an ugly structure and ugly game -- no amount of paint can fix what Michigan is doing t college football. I hope the students don't line up like a bunch of sheep wasting their precious time to fulfill the wishes of the money hungry athletic department.

Local Yocal

Thu, Aug 29, 2013 : 3:07 p.m.

I was a Boy Scout and a usher back in my youth at UM games. Students pretty much ignored us as they were drunk, but we didn't care because we got to watch the game for free.


Thu, Aug 29, 2013 : 3:04 p.m.

Well said P.J.


Thu, Aug 29, 2013 : 12:59 p.m.

" U-M officials think the measure will "reduce the potential for vehicle-borne attacks"" Yeah, that's the ticket. It's all about defeating the terrists.


Thu, Aug 29, 2013 : 12:59 p.m.

After 11 deaths at the 1979 Who concert in 1979 and 8 in Denmark at a Pearl Jam show, haven't we learned that General Admission at large scale events is inadvisable?

Kellie Woodhouse

Thu, Aug 29, 2013 : 2:27 p.m.

I think that's why the athletic department is planning on wrist banding students... it is one way to control the flow of excited fans.

Dog Guy

Thu, Aug 29, 2013 : 12:48 p.m.

Students queue up at 7 a.m. for 3:30 p.m. kickoffs in the full-bladder conga line.

Kellie Woodhouse

Thu, Aug 29, 2013 : 2:27 p.m.

Haha... BUT there will be portable bathrooms.


Thu, Aug 29, 2013 : 12:47 p.m.

The open student seating is a really dumb idea.


Thu, Aug 29, 2013 : 3:21 p.m.

Because... ?


Thu, Aug 29, 2013 : 12:44 p.m.

"The straw that broke the camel's back was probably the Northwestern game last November. We were fighting for the division lead and you looked up at kickoff and it was 50 percent full, which was disappointing," he said. "We knew we had to try something new." This is all about money and TV. Mr Pizza Man didn't want a half empty end zone for TV purposes. Maybe the question is why the student section was half empty to begin with, instead of negating a system that rewarded upperclass students. It has nothing to do with "home field advantage." It's money and TV.


Thu, Aug 29, 2013 : 2:50 p.m.

It seems they solved the problem of the half empty student section by reducing seating in that area by 2000 seats.... yea that should make it look more full.

Nicholas Urfe

Thu, Aug 29, 2013 : 12:33 p.m.

"About four hours before kickoff, the first 3,000 students in line will be given wristbands that allow them into the first 22 rows of the student section." I guess the assumption is that loyal students who attend games are the sort that have no need to study on saturdays, and that standing around in line for hours is a useful use of their time. And how about those days when their folks are in town, and they want to spend time together before the game? Sorry Mom - I have to go wait in line to get in. This whole thing just might backfire and students might choose to stay home and watch on their 60" TVs. At least then they can get something done before the game.


Thu, Aug 29, 2013 : 5:47 p.m.


Lizzy Alfs

Thu, Aug 29, 2013 : 5:20 p.m.

@1959Viking: Really? That's interesting. Because it's true - if you're going to commit to waiting in line/attending the game for the entire day, it's likely you still need to get some things done. There's nothing worse than cramming all your studying in on Sunday. The worst!


Thu, Aug 29, 2013 : 2:32 p.m.

and drink


Thu, Aug 29, 2013 : 2:15 p.m.

As a Duke grad I can tell you that study groups did lots of work camping out in Krzyzewskiville for basketball tickets. Where there is a will there is a way.

Hugh Giariola

Thu, Aug 29, 2013 : 12:32 p.m.

OK, so the student ticket increase of $7.50 should net the U $1,050,000 this season. How much is the gym renovation expected to cost? Will there be a ticket price DROP when said renovations are completed? (Couldn't get that last sentence out without laughing)


Thu, Aug 29, 2013 : 4:30 p.m.

"The athletic department had a pretty big surplus last year..." Things seem to get more complicated as comments are made. THE BIG HOUSE is offering perks to students that show up early to the game , these perks cost money. They raise ticket prices for gym renovations, the renovations are expected to cost $173M. So why is last years surplus being spent on a D.J., food, phone chargers, and portable bathrooms and a T.V. monitor for students as they wait in line to get a beer 3 hours before game time?

Kellie Woodhouse

Thu, Aug 29, 2013 : 2:26 p.m.

Here's a link if you want more info on that:

Kellie Woodhouse

Thu, Aug 29, 2013 : 2:25 p.m.

The renovations are expected to cost $173M. A 30-year annual $65 student fee and a $1M a year allotment from the transportation department are also funding the renovations. That's a good question about whether the price will go down when things are full funded. Dave Brandon has said that having a higher price means that students will likely be more invested in making the most of their purchase and attend the games--- meaning a lower now show rate, in theory.


Thu, Aug 29, 2013 : 11:52 a.m.

The question that many people will have is why is there an increase in ticket prices if they are giving away free food, adding portable bathrooms, cellphone recharging stations, a D.J. These items all cost money that the fans have to pay for. I am all for helping to pay for a college education, can't say I am all for helping to fill the big house by giving the students a free ride to the game at a higher ticket price. Then they claim that all ticket price increases go to Gym renovations. I wonder where the money is coming from for these added perks?

Kellie Woodhouse

Thu, Aug 29, 2013 : 2:21 p.m.

The athletic department had a pretty big surplus last year...


Thu, Aug 29, 2013 : 12:14 p.m.

You didn't buy your ticket yet? UoM is going to require everyone on the streets of Ann Arbor to have a ticket on game day, not for the stadium, just to be out and about. Talk about added revenue! After all, ESPN and BTN show views of the city during the game, it must be part of the game therefore, so ...


Thu, Aug 29, 2013 : 11:50 a.m.

Article states Main to be closed from Stadium to Pauline, but the illustration shows Main closed north of Stadium.


Thu, Aug 29, 2013 : 12:05 p.m.

Pauline Blvd.( not labeled in the illustration) intersects Main north of Keech Street. than runs west and crosses Stadium Blvd. Stadium then runs south and east and crosses Main Street at the stadium.


Thu, Aug 29, 2013 : 11:53 a.m.

Please disregard my lack of understanding of maps.

Glenn Galler

Thu, Aug 29, 2013 : 11:47 a.m.

This is what I would like the students to do in response to this general admission policy. I would like the freshman to sit near the top, the sophomores down from the Freshman, the Juniors next, and have the students give the Seniors the best seats since they deserve them. AND, I would like to see the students arrive at the game late as they (or WE (I'm a Michigan Alum)) have always done it for years. The students should not allow themselves to be manipulated by the AD.

Homeland Conspiracy

Thu, Aug 29, 2013 : 11:41 a.m.

a full cavity search


Thu, Aug 29, 2013 : 12:15 p.m.

I think they are about 2-3 years away from offering those.


Thu, Aug 29, 2013 : noon

Are you requesting one?


Thu, Aug 29, 2013 : 11:39 a.m.

Wait a minute... in the photo of Main Street above, do I see a DIP in the road. Oh no, now UoM is going to have to close Main Street 3 days in advance of a game to level that dip, and in typical cost-saving action, keep it closed 3 days after each closure to remove the leveling. Then the U can argue "well, we had control of that street 6 days out of 7 for the entire football season, clearly the city doesn't need it so they should just cede it to the University and we will create a smooth, level, walking mall." All because of a dip (wait until game day, I suspect many dips will be in the road).


Thu, Aug 29, 2013 : 12:09 p.m.

I like it... and the dip that wrote it, I think.

Susan Montgomery

Thu, Aug 29, 2013 : 11:35 a.m.

The photo caption needs updating to show the street closing was approved


Thu, Aug 29, 2013 : 1:07 p.m.

Of course it was approved. City Council folded like a card table.

Kyle Mattson

Thu, Aug 29, 2013 : 12:15 p.m.

Thanks Susan, we've corrected that.


Thu, Aug 29, 2013 : 11:09 a.m.

I never had a great seat as a student. At least now the most interested student fans will earn the best seats.

Lizzy Alfs

Thu, Aug 29, 2013 : 5:18 p.m.

Yes, same with me. Never had a great seat, but that never mattered much to me. Now, students who do care at least have the opportunity to have good seats. I'll be interested to see how the line plays out though and whether people really will start lining up at 7 a.m.


Thu, Aug 29, 2013 : 10:57 a.m.

They should add an app for older alumni fans to monitor how loudly we cheer and ding those who yell "down in front" during big plays


Thu, Aug 29, 2013 : 10:33 a.m.

I don't think the entire price increase was due to money going to gym renovations.


Thu, Aug 29, 2013 : 3:40 p.m.

I am sorry Kellie That rally was not necessary for me to do, I did not mean anything by it to be truthful. just a sassy comment. My apologies once more.


Thu, Aug 29, 2013 : 1:17 p.m.

Mike.. her name is Kellie... it says it RIGHT THERE by where you typed your sassy reply.


Thu, Aug 29, 2013 : 12:54 p.m.

The ticket price that you show represents the price of a student season ticket holder that averages $40.00 per game. Game day tickets will vary by demand but will never drop below the $65.00 face value ticket price. The average price of tickets at the big house for 2013 is $230.00 per game according to Forbs


Thu, Aug 29, 2013 : 12:12 p.m.

KELLY how does the rate go up from $15.00 to $10.00 ? Or is this the new Michigan math?

Kellie Woodhouse

Thu, Aug 29, 2013 : 11:31 a.m.

Students pay $40 per game, up 23.1 percent from last year's per-game rate of $32.50. The $7.50 increase goes to fund the renovations. Also, a processing fee went up from $15 to $10. Here's Brandon talking about the change.


Thu, Aug 29, 2013 : 10:32 a.m.

$6 million, used 3,500 gallons of paint and took 50 workers to complete —


Thu, Aug 29, 2013 : 6:44 p.m.

Yahh...I did the math too and it still doesn't add up that well...Throw in $1m for the sandblasting and another $1m for bag and haul...


Thu, Aug 29, 2013 : 1:13 p.m.

The major reason for the new paint job was the lead abatement of the old paint at the stadium - hence the huge tents and specialized venting during the sand blasting periods. Any time you deal with a toxic substance removal costs will increase very quickly to ensure worker and public safety. Additionally, since much of this paint was the floor paint in the stadium in the upper bowl (the metal part) all of those bleachers had to be removed and re-installed which would take a good amount of labor The lead paint specialists, painters, equipment, and commercial grade paint, along with the equipment Mark Pearlman mentions would add up in a hurry. I do think they added on the exterior paint job to capture pricing efficiency since they had the crews there already, but that was just an added perk since they had to handle the lead paint that was reaching the end of its life.

Mark Pearlman

Thu, Aug 29, 2013 : 12:56 p.m.

While I was initially going to "Vote Down" jmdA2's comment, I now kind of see his/her point. 3500 gallons of paint x $40/gallon (that's good paint) = $130,000. 50 workers x $30/hr (if they got that much) x 4 months x 40 hours/week = $960,000. Where'd the other $4.9 million dollars go? I realize they had to use specialized equipment (sprayers, cranes, etc) and lots of expendables that all had to be shlepped to the Big House, but $4.9 million dollars worth? Really?


Thu, Aug 29, 2013 : 10:37 a.m.

You are correct, and GO BLUE!!!