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Posted on Mon, Jan 4, 2010 : 12:25 p.m.

Crisler Arena renovations on agenda for next meeting of Michigan regents

By Michael Rothstein


Players and fans stand for the playing of the national anthem at U-M's Crisler Arena before the sold-out game against MSU in 2009. Crisler may be one step closer to renovations after this month's regents' meeting.

Ann Arbor News file photo

Michigan coach John Beilein said Monday he is pleased with the university taking steps toward renovating Crisler Arena. 

“We need to give our people the best arena possible,” Beilein said. “And no question we are on our way.”

Athletic department officials will recommend to the university's Board of Regents that it approve plans to begin the first phase of renovations at Crisler, according to the Detroit Free Press.

The regents meet on Jan. 21.

The plans come after the school announced in September the building of a $23.2 million player development center that will contain practice facilities and men’s and women’s basketball offices.

The renovation of Crisler is the last piece of a complete facilities overhaul the university has gone under in recent years, including an upgrade of Michigan Stadium.

In the past 12 years, the school has upgraded the playing court, the locker rooms and training facility at the 13,751-seat arena, as well as built a production studio. In 1998, Crisler added a video replay system and the large overhead scoreboard sitting above midcourt.

If approved, the project will begin in 2011, cost almost $20 million and the first portion of the renovation would deal with plumbing, heating, the Crisler roof, the replacement of lower bowl seats and aisle realignment, according to the Free Press.

Michigan administrators traveled to Kansas when the Wolverines played there on Dec. 19 to tour the facility and pick up ideas on what they’d like to see.

“I agree with the idea,” Beilein said. “I want them to do everything they can to move with Crisler.”

Michael Rothstein covers University of Michigan basketball for He can be reached at (734) 623-2558, by e-mail at or follow along on Twitter @mikerothstein.



Tue, Jan 5, 2010 : 12:49 p.m.

This is sorely needed.


Mon, Jan 4, 2010 : 1:59 p.m.

I'm surprised they're only talking about spending $20 million. Given the age of the facility, they could do even more. But, I like some of the improvements that have already been done like the lighting and scoreboard upgrades. However, the public areas surrounding the seating where the concessions are need a lot of improvements. How about adding some natural light in there? It's dark and gloomy (not exciting feeling) even for day games. And let's improve the food quality and service. I went to games in the 1970's and for the most part, they haven't changed the food choices AT ALL. Updating things like the display cases and bathrooms probably wouldn't hurt either. And the seating capacity isn't that great, BUT that would be hard to increase AND the demand for seats isn't there. Maybe if the team contended for the Big Ten title, that would change.


Mon, Jan 4, 2010 : 1:56 p.m.

WOOHOO!!!! Its about time.