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Posted on Thu, Dec 2, 2010 : 11:31 a.m.

Parking, traffic for The Big Chill at the Big House similar to football Saturdays in Ann Arbor

By Jeff Arnold


Dave Loverock, right in orange coat, and Yost Ice Arena Facility Manager Craig Wotta, right in blue coat, measure the crease on Wednesday.

Lon Horwedel |

College football Saturdays in Ann Arbor always mean more business for Fingerle Lumber Company.

On a typical game day, 100 cars and more than a dozen RVs park in Fingerle lots, which are just a short walk to Michigan Stadium. John Fingerle doesn't expect The Big Chill At the Big House to be different.

Just colder.

Fingerle is among the normal parking areas that will be used for next weekend's Michigan-Michigan State hockey game that is expected to draw a world-record crowd of more than 100,000.

"I'm curious to see what it's going to be all about," Fingerle said Thursday morning. "Plopping a hockey rink inside Michigan Stadium is unprecedented, and if they get the 109,000 that bought tickets, it's going to be a big day in Ann Arbor."

But those parking cars and those in charge of controlling traffic flow are treating the event like a home football game.

All of the University of Michigan lots, including at the Michigan Golf Course, will be used, weather permitting. Each lot and the golf course will charge $20. Limited parking will also be available at Ann Arbor Golf and Outing for $30. Gates will open at either 11 a.m. or noon.

Due to construction at the Michigan Golf Course, no parking will be permitted on the driving range.

Parking at Fingerle will be $30 for cars and $120 for RVs and will begin ushering cars into its lot at 8 a.m. Parking for RVs will be open Friday at 5 p.m.

Fingerle said the fact it will be dark when the game ends will give those on parking lot duty an idea what it will be like next season when Michigan hosts Notre Dame on Sept. 10 in the first night game at Michigan Stadium.

With similar crowds expected for the hockey game as would attend a Michigan football game, all traffic rules used on fall Saturdays will apply.

The only thing that could affect how quickly traffic moves is the weather.

"Obviously, we're not in control of that," Lt. Renee Bush said. "We're all curious to see what we're in for (weather-wise). It will be like a normal football Saturday, but we know it's going to be colder."

Bush said police staffing will be the same as it would be for football games in an effort to get fans in and out of the stadium smoothly.

The same one-way traffic route that runs south from Stadium Boulevard to 1-94 used for football games will be used for the Big Chill.

"Patience is the key," she said. "We're going to get people in and out as safely and as quickly as possible."

The Ann Arbor Transportation Authority will also use the same shuttle routes it does for football Saturdays, charging $1.50 each way. The service will begin at 1 p.m. and continue for two hours after the game.

Public skate schedule | Slideshow | Web cam of rink

Jeff Arnold covers Michigan hockey for and can be reached at (734) 623-2554 or by e-mail at Follow him on Twitter @jeffreyparnold.


Fat Bill

Fri, Dec 3, 2010 : 5:16 p.m.

Fear not, tow companies in Ann Arbor are ready to assist those who have difficulty choosing legal parking places...

Jeff Arnold

Fri, Dec 3, 2010 : 8:05 a.m.

I received this from Brian Stange, the golf professional and general manager over at Ann Arbor Golf and Area: Ann Arbor Golf & Outing will be parking weather permitting on a limited bases. The cost will be $30.00 a car not $15.00 (as is the rate on the Michigan athletic website) and we will open the gates at 11:00am or 12:00pm, that hasn't been decided yet.

David Briegel

Thu, Dec 2, 2010 : 9:29 p.m.

Golly, where are those frantic U of M security geniuses? They better close Main St for this whole week otherwise a "terrist" might infiltrate the smartest city in America! Oh, the "terrists" aren't interested in Hockey, only Football? Have fun "patting down" all those snowmobile suits for their Schnapps! (Wish I had a Schnapps concession!) What will the "ice" be like with a foot of snow? Or an inch of rain? Happy Puppy, and you're only concerned about an ACT test! Priorities? Seriously, I hope all goes well and that the U of M gives up the nonsense of closing Main St! GO BLUE!!

Linda Diane Feldt

Thu, Dec 2, 2010 : 7:55 p.m.

Thanks for giving the start time - what time will this end? I sure hope the weather makes parking easy for people, I'm not looking forward to getting around town for other events that day. And indeed, what is the back up plan if the normal off street spots aren't available due to snow? Sorry, this seems like a terrible idea at this time of year in this sort of weather. Aren't retailers relying on people being able to get to and from their stores this month - especially on a Saturday?

Leah Gunn

Thu, Dec 2, 2010 : 2:31 p.m.

Thank you Stefanie!

Happy Puppy

Thu, Dec 2, 2010 : 2:28 p.m.

Hey Jeff, Can you find out is there going to any entrance into Pioneer HS for the ACT test? Is there going to be parking in the clock tower (front) lot? This is drop off at 8, pick up at 12 situation. Thanks!

Leah Gunn

Thu, Dec 2, 2010 : 2:12 p.m.

I have read a number of articles about this game in and the Freep - but nowhere does it tell me what time it starts - so please let me know. I live near the stadium, so it's important. Thank yo.


Thu, Dec 2, 2010 : 1:47 p.m.

Hope it doesn't happen-but what if old man winter rears its head dumping some snow-wouldn't that render the lots on the golf course, front lawns, Pioneer, etc. not usable. Good luck with parking if that comes to pass.


Thu, Dec 2, 2010 : 1:07 p.m.

Did A^2 alter parking-on-football-days-only rules to permit lawn parking? Also, the numbers of fans who cannot read no-parking signs in daylight should swell at night... great revenue generating opportunities.