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Posted on Tue, Mar 13, 2012 : 5:56 a.m.

Crisler Center? U-M Athletic Department looks to officially rename Crisler Arena

By Kellie Woodhouse


Crisler Center

Chris Asadian |

During home basketball games this season, the announcer would boom: "Welcome to Crisler Center." Yet the scoreboard and building signage referred to the venue as Crisler Arena, the name University of Michigan fans have used since 1970.

The difference left fans wondering: What's the real name?

Crisler Arena, first built in 1967 as the University Events Building and renamed after longtime athletic director Herbert "Fritz" Crisler in 1970, is currently undergoing a $52 million expansion.

The updated complex will include a club area, indoor and outdoor meeting and performance venues, a media center with a production studio, shops and the main basketball arena. The university also recently built the $23.2 million William Davidson Player Development Center adjacent to the existing Crisler building.

The new versatility of the building led the Athletic Department to begin calling it Crisler Center on its website and in news releases.

Now, athletic director Dave Brandon and U-M Chief Financial Officer Timothy Slottow are looking to make that change official.

"The arena portion is simply one facet of the building," Brandon and Slottow wrote in a memo to the Board of Regents. "To refer to it as an arena is no longer properly descriptive."

Regents will vote on whether to approve the name change at their monthly meeting at 3 p.m. Thursday at the Michigan Union.

Sports reporter Nick Baumgardner contributed to this report. Kellie Woodhouse covers higher education for Reach her at or 734-623-4602 and follow her on twitter.



Tue, Mar 13, 2012 : 5:28 p.m.

Why stop there? The area around the court with all the food vendors could be renamed The Crisler Concourse. There could be a special seating area, reserved for the largest donors, called the Crisler 300. The luxury box for the UofM president could be called the Crisler Imperial. The area surrounding the center could be the Crisler Town and Country. A large street running through said town could be renamed The Crisler 5th Avenue. The light show equipment in the center could be called The Crisler Laser and Crisler Neon. A large percentage of the student fans could be called the Criser New Yorkers. The ventilation system could be renamed The Crisler Airflow. Any titles won by the basketball team would naturally be known as Crisler Conquests.

Stephen Landes

Tue, Mar 13, 2012 : 4:45 p.m.

By changing the name to "Crisler Center" they open up naming opportunities for the arena, court, press box, concourses, etc. It does seem a bit confusing with the North Campus "Chrysler Center", so maybe we can come up with a new name: Crisler Complex? Crisler Wolverine Den?


Tue, Mar 13, 2012 : 4:30 p.m.

Since it is the house that Cazzie built, call it Cazzie Russell Arena.


Tue, Mar 13, 2012 : 4:08 p.m.

always has looked like a big UFO landed next to Michigan Stadium.. i think when George Clinton played there for 3 hrs & then they turned the power off on him & he jammed for another 45 mins. san electricity, it will always be the Mothership.. Pfunk rulz! Klatu Barada Nictu! the Crisler Mothership Connection...


Tue, Mar 13, 2012 : 3:17 p.m.

A large, round building, in which sports are played and spectators watch. Arena. Center sounds like an endless convention. The adjacent building simply supports the main show on the court. And while we're at it, it's so much nicer when historic Wolverines/Coaches are honored with buildings vs. corporate sponsors. Money can't buy you love.


Tue, Mar 13, 2012 : 3:10 p.m.

I have been suspicious for some time that David Brandon has no respect for tradition. Playing Alabama in the Cowboys stadium instead of the Big House, and now this. Pretty soon we will see ads posted on the wall in the football stadium.

Craig Lounsbury

Tue, Mar 13, 2012 : 5:05 p.m.

I'm not a big David Brandon fan. For me the jury is still out. But as far as the Alabama thing goes he pretty much had 2 choices if he wants the game. A two game home and home series or a one game neutral site. But Alabama coming here without a return visit their wasn't going to happen. Me, i wish he hadn't scheduled the game till Brady Hoke has 3-4 years under his belt with a full complement of his own recruits.


Tue, Mar 13, 2012 : 2:46 p.m.

Crisler Arena, please. No change.


Tue, Mar 13, 2012 : 2:30 p.m.

Call it whatever you want. It is still a dump.


Tue, Mar 13, 2012 : 2:05 p.m.

Just keep it Crisler Arena. Stop trying to "brand" everything. get over yourself. There is nothing wrong with with keeping the way it is. change for the sake of change is stupid.


Wed, Mar 14, 2012 : 11:51 a.m.

amen and thank you. the size of the man's ego is beyond comprehension.


Tue, Mar 13, 2012 : 1:29 p.m.

It is still the house that Cazzie built!


Tue, Mar 13, 2012 : 1:26 p.m.

Rich Rod All Sports and Bakery Pavilion, since he self admittedly is the "cake maker" of all teams and the reason why all sports at Michigan are successful! Put a huge statue of him out front with a chefs hat on and call it good! They could even rename the street out front from East Stadium Blvd. to TheKidsJustArentThatGood Blvd! Is it just me or does anyone else think this guy has a self portrait, like Kramer's from Seinfeld, in his office that he stares at and makes people talk to instead of himself?! Go Blue!!!

Elaine F. Owsley

Tue, Mar 13, 2012 : 1:30 p.m.

How did Rich Rod get in to this discussion?

Craig Lounsbury

Tue, Mar 13, 2012 : 12:29 p.m.

why not call it the smaller house next to the big house? sincerely, Michigan Stadium


Tue, Mar 13, 2012 : 12:26 p.m.

How about "The Big Center". (or the B1G Center)?

C. Kamm

Tue, Mar 13, 2012 : 12:22 p.m.

They should take the opportunity to name it "Cazzie Russell Court", too. After all, it is "the house that Cazzie built".


Tue, Mar 13, 2012 : 12:09 p.m.

There is already a Breslin Center up the street. What's wrong with Crisler Arena? What's the point of the name change?


Tue, Mar 13, 2012 : 12:06 p.m.

Why don't they rename the A. Alfred Taubman Medical Center while they're at it? The U of M's may be the only medical center in the country bearing the name of a convicted felon.


Tue, Mar 13, 2012 : 6:02 p.m.

These may not be medical centers, but it seems like we're in good company...: The Taubman Center for Public Policy at Brown University The Taubman Center for State and Local Government at Harvard University.


Tue, Mar 13, 2012 : 2:50 p.m.

But he's a rich convicted felon.

Craig Lounsbury

Tue, Mar 13, 2012 : 1:11 p.m.


Elaine F. Owsley

Tue, Mar 13, 2012 : 12:01 p.m.

"A building by any other name.........." Center, arena, it doesn't really change the location or use or drop Fritz Crisler's honor. Boy! there are a lot more important things to get in a fuss over, Ann Arbor. Call it "The Crisler" if you can't agree on the building part.


Tue, Mar 13, 2012 : 11:16 a.m.

Let's just get it over with and call it Arby's Arena.

Marvin Face

Tue, Mar 13, 2012 : 2:54 p.m.

"I'm so hungry, I could eat Arby's"

Craig Lounsbury

Tue, Mar 13, 2012 : 12:27 p.m.

has a nice ring to it. Do you think Domino's would outbid them?


Tue, Mar 13, 2012 : 10:53 a.m.

What kind of insane institution would have both a Crisler Center and Chrysler Center?


Wed, Mar 14, 2012 : 1:02 p.m.

The same kind of institution that would have two Dow Buildings, four Taubman buildings . . . Don't worry if the police or fire department get sent to the wrong building based on a misunderstanding during a 9-1-1 phone call, the people who need help can wait.

Audion Man

Tue, Mar 13, 2012 : 1:03 p.m.

A University of Michigan-level-of-insane institution. I wish I could find someone named Krysler to give them money.


Tue, Mar 13, 2012 : 10:52 a.m.

Either name is suitable, especially since former coach & A.D. Crisler continues to be honored in the name. . . In either case, the name, athletic tradition, and symbolism continue, as does landmark recognition. . .

R M King

Tue, Mar 13, 2012 : 10:35 a.m.

Crisler Center sounds like a shopping mall. Is that the image they're looking for?


Tue, Mar 13, 2012 : 3:11 p.m.



Tue, Mar 13, 2012 : 2:25 p.m.

Are we going to see up scale cars there too? Leave the name alone. I'll get too confused trying to figure out what street I am on next.

5c0++ H4d13y

Tue, Mar 13, 2012 : 11:31 a.m.

How about The Crisler Collection. Sounds a little more upscale.