The Big House Renovations
I searched and didn't see a topic already discussing this topic, and since everyone seems down in the dumps today after the tough Iowa loss (or, alternately, all Penn State-y, which is even more depressing), I thought I'd point out the good news that we're on great position to break our 2010 NCAA Record for Highest Average Home Game Attendance, which was set at 111,825. Here's where we stand so far:
Western Michigan 110,506
Notre Dame 114,804
Eastern Michigan 110,343
San Diego State 110,707
Ohio State xxx,xxx
So, through six games 669,581 fans have visited Michigan Stadium so far this season, averaging out to 111,597. We're alittle behind 2010's pace, but our only two home games left will be two of our biggest presumed-attendance games: Nebraska and Ohio State. I don't think replicating UTL's numbers for either of those contests seems likely, but we might use last year's MSU or UConn games as good placeholders (both between 113,000-113,500). If we estimate conservatively and hit 113,000 for each of our final two home games, we would be just under 112,000 fans on average, beating out old record by around 125 per game.
Also, M-Wolverine asked about the NCAA Single-Season Total Home Attendance record (since the 2010 average-attendance record was set with just 7 home games). Our 2007 team holds that with 882,115. We would need to average only 106,268 in our last two games to break that, so it seems an even more sure bet! Assuming 113,000 in our last two games would put the new record around 895,000, breaking the old record by almost 13,000!
It was probably inevitable with the stadium additions that we break our 1999 average-attendance mark a couple of times, and our 2007 total home attendance record eventually, and this season has been the perfect storm of having Ohio State, Nebraska, and Notre Dame all visit the Big House (one of them in a record-setting first night game) amid 8 homes games. Still, its fun to know that all of us who attended a game this season were part of the soon-to-be new records, and that Michigan athletics will continue to garner publicity for The Big House. Go Blue!
EDIT: I used the 1999 average-attendance record initally (dang you, un-updated Wikipedia!), not the 2010 record. That has been corrected.
Out of curiosity: who's planning to tour the stadium renovations tomorrow, and when are you planning to be there? I'm expecting to be there sometime between 10:00 and 11:00.
But wait! What's that you say?
The University is in the middle of a nine-figure renovation project to a facility that is only used eight times year, if it's lucky? I didn't even know about that. I guess they care more about athletics, huh? But I'm a student who plans on going to law school, making bank, and giving a lot back to the school. If I can possibly pay my ever-mounting loans back, that is. Why don't they invest in my well-being instead of a bunch of football players, most of whom won't play professionally anyway?
Oh! Really? The University makes more money off the football team? Shut Up! Athletics ended last year with a surplus?
Obviously there's a decent amount of sarcasm floating around here, the main point being that I think a University of this caliber and relatively progressive minded administration has what it takes to use some of the athletic budget elsewhere. If you haven't heard, some promises have been broken recently. That, combined with Mary Sue's opposition to the State Legislature's cutting of the Michigan Promise Scholarship, points towards a possible remedy, which I propose should be a commitment of aid from the Athletic Department.
In times like these, successful organizations need to step up in order to stop the bleeding. The financial prosperity of Michigan sports will not continue in isolation. In other words, the state's economic plight has the strength to bring the Big House attendance numbers down with it. The best way to ensure a turnaround is for increased investment from Athletics into the student body and their financial aid. This is something I am sure Martin's replacement could address, but won't.