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Posted on Sun, Aug 22, 2010 : 5:58 a.m.

Michigan officials say new water fountains, concession stands can handle water needs of football fans

By Pete Bigelow

Football fans remain prohibited from bringing bottled water into Michigan Stadium this fall. But after a deluge of complaints about the new ban, university officials are reminding fans of options to quench their thirst during Michigan football games, and adding a few new ones. Stadium renovations added 24 new water fountains around the concourse, bringing the total available to 28, according to Michigan spokesman Bruce Madej.


The first 25,000 fans to enter Michigan Stadium for the season-opening game against UConn on Sept. 4 will receive a commemorative bottle of water.

Four hydration tents will be set up around the stadium. In addition, Madej said “at least” 40 concession stands will serve water, with two to 12 lines available at each stand. There, fans can purchase a $4 bottle water or request a free cup of water. Sizes of the $4 bottle and free cup were unknown. “We’re looking at a totally new fan experience, in terms of coming to the stadium,” Madej said, asking fans to withhold judgment on water availability until they see the renovated venue.

For the season opener against UConn on Sept. 4, the first 25,000 fans entering the gates will receive a bottle of spring water from Absopure that commemorates the stadium renovation.

Security concerns prompted the ban, Madej said, and Michigan enacted it based on recommendations from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.


Steve V

Sun, Aug 29, 2010 : 11:22 a.m.

Come on people, the stadium has 28 drinking fountains for 108,000 people. What are you complaining about? Joe Parker of the athletic department said that you can bring in empty bottles and fill them up in the stadium. Let's see if that holds true. I expect they'll want my $4.


Sat, Aug 28, 2010 : 5:59 a.m.

I think they banned bottles for the coach's security.


Tue, Aug 24, 2010 : 6:04 a.m.

Ross, I just read your post and man or woman I gotta say, your post left me in tears. This truly does sound like a desperate situation for you, I'm talking about the water issue. All I can say is, you will be in my prayers.


Mon, Aug 23, 2010 : 2:01 p.m.

to ronannarbor - Michigan Theater, Power Center, Hill, Rackham, the Ark, ALL allow bottled water to be taken in to the house (from the Orchestra to the Rock Concert).


Mon, Aug 23, 2010 : 8:17 a.m.

To me, most people's comments /arguments so far completely miss the most important factor: Being able to have water with you at your seat (you know, 80 rows of steps down from the entrance). I may be a bit more sensitive than most, but my mouth and throat tend to get dry in as little as 20 minutes without access to water. Especially in the sun on a 90 degree day. It doesn't matter whether there is free water outside the stadium. You are telling me that without paying $4 for water (multiple times per game) I have to take a 20 minute excursion from my seat and miss that much or more of the game. By the time I get back to my seat I will need water again. This is outrageous and may be the final straw for me. If I decide to attend any games this year (and that just feels so ridiculous to type after trying to attend just about every single home game the last 8 years), I will be bringing an empty bottle in my pocket. If security jacks me up for it, you can damn sure bet I will be making a scene over it. ACCESS TO CLEAN DRINKING WATER IS A BASIC HUMAN RIGHT! After paying $65 to attend a game, I can bring a freaking bottle of water (we're talking about WATER!) wherever I want. Arrest me if you think otherwise. By the way, the absopure water they sell in the stadium tastes disgusting.


Mon, Aug 23, 2010 : 1:31 a.m.

Boys and girls here's the poop, this is a conspiracy and you and I know who is behind this that's right, shhhh, be careful don't say the name out loud just say the initials, RR


Sun, Aug 22, 2010 : 11:29 p.m.

Hey people, did you read the article? They are offering FREE water. How is that a "money grab"? Even if it were a money grab, SO WHAT. WHat you pay at CVS does not matter, what it costs does not matter. The pizza you buy at the stadium only costs maybe a $1. Are you whining about them not allowing pizza in.


Sun, Aug 22, 2010 : 7:08 p.m.

They haven't been able to lease all those luxury boxes so they need another source of revenue to pay the interest on the $224 million renovation. They also leased a number of boxes to departments in the University, which is a way of diverting money from other budgets to athletics.


Sun, Aug 22, 2010 : 6:36 p.m.

This Just In: If you go to any sporting event and buy anything it is all overpriced. This is not new. Oh no not $4. How can that be?


Sun, Aug 22, 2010 : 4:04 p.m.

Careful, the homeland security threat level is now maize, oops...I mean yellow!


Sun, Aug 22, 2010 : 4:02 p.m.

Headline! - " Water is Bigger Story than Team this Fall "


Sun, Aug 22, 2010 : 2:47 p.m.

Sorry timjbd, it has been addressed. Bringing in any bottle is expressly forbidden.


Sun, Aug 22, 2010 : 2:20 p.m.

This does not suggest you cannot bring in an EMPTY bottle and fill it at a drinking fountain. That's what I do everywhere I go. Has that been addressed yet?


Sun, Aug 22, 2010 : 2:19 p.m.

It's all about the money.

David Briegel

Sun, Aug 22, 2010 : 1:20 p.m.

Advertising free stadium. Except for Absopure! I hydrate in the morning and then again after the game and I have never had a problem. And I don't have to pee much!


Sun, Aug 22, 2010 : 1:16 p.m.

Water fountains?!?!?!? Are you kidding?!?! That is SO unsanitary.

Brian Bundesen

Sun, Aug 22, 2010 : 1:06 p.m.

It's clear we've gone way overboard with precautions to attempt to prevent some type of incident. For better or worse, this is the world we live in. At first, I was convinced that this was another attempt to squeeze another few bucks out of the fans. While this is no doubt one factor, it's not the overriding factor. This issue boils down to the "Why take the chance?" argument. Imagine if you will, the U of M reversing itself after all this outrage, and allowing water bottles, coolers, etc. into the BH. Then, some chucklehead does something stupid, and there is a major incident. Then you'd see some outrage. I can easily imagine the meetings of the Athletic Department, DPS and Homeland Security all in a room playing out all the various scenarios, weighing pros & cons, and anticipating the backlash. When it is all said and done, there could only have been one conclusion: "Why take the chance?" Believe me, there will be enough free water to burst even the biggest bladder. GO BLUE!


Sun, Aug 22, 2010 : 12:21 p.m.

$4 water? What a ripoff, not to mention a waste with all those bottles getting tossed after the game. Please, tell us again how the new stadium benefits the common fan.


Sun, Aug 22, 2010 : 11:46 a.m.

I have been going to Michigan games for as long as I can remember and I have never had to buy water or bring water in. The hydration stations have always had free water and never complain when I grab 4 at a time. Chill out people. I'm glad this is being implemented. The amount of plastic waste from water bottles is embarrassing, anyway.


Sun, Aug 22, 2010 : 11:19 a.m.

Hey, listen up boys and girls, if I can't bring my bottle of Jack Daniels to the game then you should not be able to bring your bottle of water, fair is fair.


Sun, Aug 22, 2010 : 11:17 a.m.

Can you imagine the amount of waste that the stadium will generate with that many water bottles, not to mention the gouging of the fans? Really, they should have stands set up to hand out FREE WATER to all who want it all over the stadium. With the amount of money the tickets cost, that is the least that they could do. But what else should we expect. It's not like the administration has ever really been fan friendly. Most other big 10 stadiums do not have such draconian policies.


Sun, Aug 22, 2010 : 10:57 a.m.

I can guarantee you, like Tiger Stadium, you will not be able to fill your bottle anywhere once you have bought will need to buy several. On an 85-degree day (there will be a game like that) you should drink 2-3 bottles of water, that's $8 to $12.


Sun, Aug 22, 2010 : 8:54 a.m.

Yeah, sure it sounds specious and facetious, but know they are sincere when they offer a "commemorative" bottle of water to the first 25,000 at the UConn game... How much more can anyone ask for???? I know that bottle will sit in the trophy cases of many a lifelong fan for years to come. What better way to say "I was there" than to have an empty plastic water bottle amongst your fan collection of memorabilia. How idiotic. I'll guarantee that no concession board will list "cup of water -- free". For those who do ask, the cup will probably be small and limited to one per customer. No one will brave a long wait in a concession line for a Dixie cup of water. They'll peel off $4 for a grossly overpriced bottle (you can get a case of 24 bottles for $3.99 at Busch's). Why is this so? Because the UM charges a big fee to concession companies and, in exchange, makes sure their customers are captive. The Homeland Security argument has some small justification but you can rest assured that the UM doesn't mind creating a monopoly at the games using that excuse. As for 28 water fountains to serve 109,000 fans? Come on!!!! That's ridiculous. If UM were really sincere, it would sell the water at no higher a cost than you'd find at a 7-11 or CVS. $1 a bottle... The thing is, a poor season by RichRod and they'll see empty seats. This "game day" experience of prohibitions, restrictions and tight seating will stop attracting fans if the ultimate product stinks as bad as it had last couple of seasons.


Sun, Aug 22, 2010 : 8:47 a.m.

It's not about security; it's about the $4.00 bucks. Just what you want to do is have your fans get sick from the heat. Some of your senior fans can't make it up and down the aisles nor do we want to stand in line and miss part of the game. All I want to do is bring in a sealed frozen water bottle and enjoy the game. You would think for the price of the ticket and parking that is not so much to ask. Looks like a lot of seats are still available. Its going to look like the Ohio State game last year where there were as many fans from the opposing teams as there are Michigan fans. Your true fan base is hanging in there through two of the most dismal years in Michigan Football history. Is this really worth screwing us to make another four bucks? GO BLUE


Sun, Aug 22, 2010 : 8:41 a.m.

$4 for a 25 cent bottle of water is an obvious grab for money. All the explanations are BS. It's all about the money and ripping off the fans. U-M should be totally embarrassed by this politically "incorrect" choice. I guess this tells us what's really important to Dave Brandon and Mary Sue Coleman. Don't go asking me for donations when I'm bled dry at the the football games.


Sun, Aug 22, 2010 : 7:48 a.m.

As a longtime visitor to many college football stadiums, I find it hard to believe the "homeland security" answer. Nascar still allows patrons to bring in a roughly 6x6x12 cooler with drinks in it. Here is a company with 36 weekly dates compared to the usual 6-7 home games for fall athletics, that contradicts that statement and in many cases, the numbers at a NASCAR race far outnumber many stadiums in America. Thanks.


Sun, Aug 22, 2010 : 7:30 a.m.

The "evil doers" are winning! They don't need to kill us, just sit back and enjoy all the safety steps we take until it's just not possible to attend anything that includes over a dozen people. The gov missed the signals concerning the man with the knife in his shoe, and the recent man in December [?] who tried to blow up the plane. Yup missed that one too. Because the gov missed it, look at what every person goes through in order to fly, [and no guarantee they even checked the checked luggage]. And you"ve got to haul all that questionable stuff into the big airport before it became a concern? Why is blowing up a plane a concern but not an airport? Now water, purses, even diaper bags, etc. are not allowed at football games in the name of security. But you could have them outside while standing in a big crowd waiting to get in. The "evil doers" are enjoying the football games and the security games being played. I'm trying to figure out the logic? JR


Sun, Aug 22, 2010 : 7:16 a.m.

Any suggestion from Homeland Security is suspect. They refuse to protect the Mexican border how can we trust them to protect us in the Bigger House????????


Sun, Aug 22, 2010 : 6:37 a.m.

the word, mr madej, is 'disingenuous'. evidently this is not the $$ grab that we all thought-----it's a Homeland Security ploy. maybe homeland security could suggest a $2 bottle of water. really, mr madej, all that fans in the cheap seats (non premium seating) would like is the same access to water that YOU have on hot,sunny days.


Sun, Aug 22, 2010 : 5:42 a.m.

So, Burce Madej is the shill for the big rip-off of the common fan. It is so nice that they will sell you a bottle of water for $4.00 when you can by them at any grocery store for a fraction of that price.