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Posted on Tue, Aug 23, 2011 : 1:06 p.m.

Volunteers to assist with outside-stadium crowd control during Michigan-Notre Dame football game

By Nick Baumgardner

Area authorities will receive a helping hand on the streets Sept. 10 when the Michigan football team hosts Notre Dame for the first ever night game at Michigan Stadium.

Michigan’s athletic department and division of student affairs are asking for 350 volunteers to take part in a “community ambassador” program designed to help assist the larger-than-typical crowd on game day, as well as aid local law enforcement with public safety issues.


Volunteer 'community ambassadors' are being sought to help with outside-stadium crowd control during the Sept. 10 Michigan vs. Notre Dame football game. file photo

“The health and safety of the community is the one thing everybody is on the same page about,” Michigan Alcohol Policy and Community Initiatives Program Administrator Mary Jo Desprez said Tuesday. “(The game itself) is such an exciting opportunity, but we also want to make sure that we’re being good community neighbors with each other.”

Volunteers participating in the program -- which, Desprez said, was used at last year’s Super Bowl -- will assist fans outside the stadium with directions and parking issues throughout the day. In addition, all volunteers will be wearing bright orange shirts and will be required to have access to a cell phone, allowing them to contact proper authorities should any health or safety issues arise outside Michigan Stadium.

“If they see something that’s a health or safety issue, they can make sure they’re in contact and alerting the people that need to know,” Desprez said. “The inside-stadium management is such a well-oiled machine -- and we’re trying to take that idea and really (bring it outside the stadium) to the community.”

Desprez added that her staff received more than 300 emails from prospective volunteers Monday, but that several of them assumed they’d be working inside the stadium during the game itself.

Despite the confusion, she said at least 40 volunteers have agreed to come on board.

Volunteers on game day will be placed in pairs for four-hour shifts running from noon to 1 a.m. All participants must be at least 18 years old and are required to participate in a two-hour training session prior to the day of the game.

“We’re calling it a pilot program, to see how much assistance we can bring,” Desprez said. “There’s been lots of positive evaluations of it in other big cities (that have used the program), so we wanted to try it and this seemed like a great event to get our feet wet with it.

“A noon-time game brings different hours (for mass people traffic), this provides us with extra support on what would otherwise be a really long day.”

To apply to be a community ambassador, email

Nick Baumgardner covers Michigan basketball for He can be reached at 734-623-2514, by email at and followed on Twitter @nickbaumgardner.



Wed, Aug 24, 2011 : 2:24 p.m.

Are the Hells Angels still doing crowd control?


Wed, Aug 24, 2011 : 9:32 a.m.

in the spirit of volunteerism i nominate david brandon as an 'outside the stadium volunteer'-------away from cameras and microphones-----walking the pavement and patrolling the streets.


Tue, Aug 23, 2011 : 8:41 p.m.

"Community volunteers" = free labor.

Nick Baumgardner

Tue, Aug 23, 2011 : 9:08 p.m.

Exactly, Don -- free labor, and folks that are interested in helping everyone deal with what could/should be a pretty staggering amount of foot traffic over a long period of time. Should be a wild day. I'm Nick, by the way. The new guy. Great to e-meet all of you.


Tue, Aug 23, 2011 : 8:04 p.m.

Way to go UM! Get 350 volunteers, pay them little if anything, and this way the U doesn't have to pay the city of Ann Arbor for "signs and signals" during football days! If a police officer can learn how to direct traffic, why can't a volunteer do the same? Oh they can! They just don't come with a $100K price tag!

Craig Lounsbury

Tue, Aug 23, 2011 : 8:03 p.m.

"Desprez added that her staff received more than 300 emails from prospective volunteers Monday, but that several of them assumed they'd be working inside the stadium during the game itself. Despite the confusion, she said at least 40 volunteers have agreed to come on board." Did you mean "several of them" or did you mean more than 260 of them "assumed they'd be working inside the stadium during the game itself."?

Charlie Brown's Ghost

Tue, Aug 23, 2011 : 6:24 p.m.

Will these volunteers be employing breathalyzers when the OSU fans come to town?


Tue, Aug 23, 2011 : 7:01 p.m.

No but they might do free tattoo removals.....

Terry Star21

Tue, Aug 23, 2011 : 5:51 p.m.

It's always nice, seriously for people to donate their time and energy to help out Michigan football - sans the naysayers whom complain about how much money the university makes game day. I think we will need many volunteers, some with medical expertise to help aide the broken hearted irish fans after the game. And the dozens of drunk coeds we always seem to see at the medical tent. No offense, but the irish ladies can put them away. But seriously, what happens inside the stadium is what really matters - a stifling Michigan defense frustrating the irish offense all day loooooooooooooooong - seriously. MgoBlueForTiM...........stifling M defense shutting down the gold helmets.

David Briegel

Tue, Aug 23, 2011 : 7:38 p.m.

If they frustrate them all day I hope they have some left over for the NIGHT game! GO Blue!!


Tue, Aug 23, 2011 : 5:49 p.m.

Scott and Bill, you can both find what your looking for in East Lansing.

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Wed, Aug 24, 2011 : 1:35 a.m.

@Scott, Of course you can. It's the campus of M-S-Moooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo Good Night and Good Luck


Tue, Aug 23, 2011 : 6:01 p.m.

Can I find cedar spelled incorrectly there too?

Terry Star21

Tue, Aug 23, 2011 : 5:53 p.m.

Good one.


Tue, Aug 23, 2011 : 5:33 p.m.

Can we get one volunteer to make a solo tackle on defense?


Tue, Aug 23, 2011 : 5:19 p.m.

Can we get 300 volunteers to yell while on defense? Sincerely, section 37