Yes, long gone are the days Michigan athletic gear was just free to us all.
Yes, long gone are the days Michigan athletic gear was just free to us all.
Sorry, had to do it.
I think the souvenir cups are nice (i keep them on my desk at work) but I don't really notice much outside of the football. I didn't go to games regularly before DB became AD though, so I'm not a good person to ask about the comparison, but I don't really have a problem with the way things are now.
Prices have gone up but of course things are going to have price tags on them. This is a capitalistic society and football is at the center of American sports. That said, the prices are still high and are probably raised at the expense of more complete student section, crowds, etc. (JUB also has a quote on this in his book, I believe). In essence the product on the field needs to match the price being charged for this to make sense. Until then it is probably overpriced. So far no indication that either (price or product) will change. I personally think the product will get better, but the price will further increase as well.
Obviously the scene is different now than thirty years ago. I'm not convinced that it's gone from a golden age era to some pit of despair ruled by scheming villains.
and they don't sell streamers. Also can't bring in a thermos with hot chocolate and peppermint schnaps. The whole ambiance is ruined!
(I did find a few mini-airline bottles rolling down under my seat last time, so I suppose there is that option.)
Seriously - there is a long gap between 1987 and last year, an other than a now broken horizon: the bathroom lines are still long, the food is still expensive, people still boo when the coaches call for a run up the middle for no gain on first down, but being inside that bowl is still 100% awesome.
I don't mind the piped music that much, and the students singing "you suck" to Temptation is really kind of funny - they seem to be having a good time with it.
I think the program is in real trouble next season, and 110,000 may only get topped once at most with that pathetic home schedule that we have. My Dad and I are season ticket holders and we are just selling them onto the secondary market because there are no games outside of Penn State worth going to see in person, ecspecially if this coaching staff returns. It's not even about the price, it's the product from Michigan and Michigan's opponents.
If the entire coaching staff as it is right now returns, you can bet if you were at the Nebraska game you just saw the 250th and last Michigan game in a row with 100,000 Michigan fans. I bet there will be 30,000 osu fans there on Saturday, and I have a hard time seeing there being 100,000 fans for Appalachian State next year.
The stadium won't be under capacity for the opener.
It seems to me that enough people value the experience of being at Michigan Stadium that the price of the experience is perhaps highly inelastic compared to other programs. In other words, even if there is no change in the staff and despite a "blech" home schedule next year, more often than not, those seats will be filled. I have a difficult time seeing where the effects of protests such as the ones proposed on this blog over the last several weeks will be an immediate concern for the athletic department's revenue picture, or at least, it may take longer for it to be a problem than it might in other places.
Like anything in life, you get out of it what you put into it. I enjoy the stadium experience. I don't have a problem paying money for things I like. Tickets and concessions have never been free, have they? Water is free at the Hydration Station. I'm wondering what it is that used to be free, which was bought up, then sold to me?
I think the stadium atmosphere has decidedly degraded, thanks mostly to RAWK/RAPP and a few other things, although I know there are people who like that shit for some reason.
I don't know if it's any more "commodified" than it's been since I've been going, though (since ca. 1990). But I do agree the MBA types definitely look for ways to charge people for shit that maybe used to be free (or seem to be free, maybe they were just sponsored by some entity that pulled its support). It's just the way it is, so long as people will buy.
Worse than anything, though, IMO, is the increasing police state bullshit. This year's Main Street play pen for bored cops is just as ridiculous as it is disgusting. Really not a fan of that decision nor of the creeping "Homeland Security" encroachments. Sorry if that's veering too near politics, but it is a real turnoff.
Having gone to the Michigan State game this year, 1000 times no. The entire time I felt like I was at a hyped up Arena League football game.
The game day experience at Michigan is still authentic, and almost everything I want attending a college game. State and a number of other colleges game day experience feels fake and manufactured like cheap plastic.
was named a sponsor of the tailgate show i have refused to buy YaYa's chicken
is this what you mean?
Well considering face value for tickets is ninety five freaking dollars, water is $4, and food is $5 and we have pretty much been subjected to terrible football at home this year since the notre dame game, I think people are just asking themselves ''is it worth it anymore?'' And don't give me the ''Dave Brandon is a businessman'' bullcrap. When you charge people this much for a mac level product theyre going to be pissed.
Not sure what food you're getting there for $5... even nachos are seven frickin dollars. Othewise generally agree.
Actually, water is $4.50 this year. The Absopure people just added some duct tape with ".50" handwritten next to the 4 on all of their banners before the CMU game.
Isn't that pretty par for the course at sporting events though? Food is expensive at sports venues, amusement parks, movie theaters, etc. This isn't a new thing and certainly isn't unique to Michigan Stadium.
I don't know that it's the Gameday experience, as much as it is the relentless idea that Michigan athletics is something to be sold to you. I suppose it's great that I get emails thrice weekly about the women's basketball team playing at home or some such, but it's also the sort of cheesy LCD manner that they are written that makes me feel like it's minor league.
Michigan has always commoditized the experience, just read Canham's ~From the Inside~, but the difference is, and Bacon gets to this in ~Fourth and Long~ is where the money is going? Is this money that is being asked for us from every corner going towards something other than building athletics palaces on South Campus for every sport? And is that really what we need/want? It's not a value judgment, I think it's great that we want to treat our crew athletes as well as any other for instance, but you just start to wonder if that monetary capture is easy when things aren't going well.
Take the stadium, as one example. I am sure many of us here walked into the stadium on an off day, took a look around, walked on the field maybe even. But between security and monetization, you can't do that any more, but you can take the Friday tour for $10.
Take the schedule poster issue this year. Awesome 3-D lenticular schedule poster...that we want to sell to you for $5 when the traditional one has been free. (BTW, this did not go as well as hoped, given that they were giving them out to season ticket holders at the M-Den this past weekend.)
I feel like Bacon's quote is on, even if I know it's not the whole story, because I feel like the idea that the things that we like can have a price tag placed on them is the way of the world today. There were price tags in the past, but they were fewer and further between.
The old versions of the posters were free and were posted everywhere, but I'm guessing they were much cheaper to produce. I think they had ads on them too right? So maybe they were free (for the AD) to produce. The 3-D posters are cool and they don't have ads ... that's why they are $5.
The stadium open door policy was nice while it lasted, but I understand discontinuing this perk due to the new structures they built. There is more at risk now, if they were to just let people in and run the steps and explore: Break-ins, vandalism, overall security of new spaces. Plus the $10 tour allows you to see the luxury boxes that you can't even get access to on gameday.
I see your point here. I also understand the AD point of view, the $5 posters and the $10 tours.
are going towards the overall athletic department budgets like building, salary, scholarship, individual sports budgets (traveling, uniforms, etc.), not just the upgraded buildings.
And they're probably giving away the remainder of them because there's not much call for a schedule poster with 1 game left.
I dont feel that way. I like rocket man and the new intro's on the new bigger video panels. I like the piped in muzak (really - I DO like it) and I like that the band is now apparently mike'd up and I can hear them in section three a little bit. I liked the sky writing (over our stadium at least) and I thought the UTL II halftime show was fantastic.
What I don't like is the product on the field right now and the very high cost of attendance relative to my enjoyment in watching the games in person.
Exactly. Price is everything here. Brandon has jacked up the prices of tickets and seat donations and what have we got out of it? Worse football.
Totally agree about the cost. It's simply ridiculous considering the sport is an "amateur" one. And it seems like just a few years ago, the tickets were close to half the cost that they are now. As you indicated, it's cheaper and often more comfortable watching at home.
Would what is being mentioned here really be irritants if we could go back to the good ol' days of, say $50 tickets and no PSLs? Detroit Lions tickets start at $47 for the cheap seats.
I think a lot of the complaints, indeed the OP's topic, are proxies for the ever-escalating cost without commensurate on field success and fan delight.
X = We used to win more
Y = It used to cost less
Michigan Stadium has sold out for 1,000,000,000 games in a row while the Lions had to build a smaller stadium so that their home games wouldn't be blacked out anymore. The demand is not even close.
Also, Lions ticket prices will go up next year, as the team is winning. Winning drives demand up.
The only thing that matters is winning. If Michigan was winning, MGrowOld would probably grit his teeth and sign the ever-more-expensive cheque.
(replying to #27 - not #16)
I agree with most of what u've said however a difference in years does exist. We held 4 season tix for 26 years and also enjoyed the added entertainment that came along with the changing world. Sure, prices increase, however, the cost of literally everything involved with a game day experience rose much higher than anyone's wages did over the same period of time. The flyovers, the parachuters, rocketman,...all very cool. Even the piped in music was alright at the onset, but, a song here and there is one thing......not being able to speak to those around us who had also been coming for a very long time, was ridiculous.
For years, we tolerated a horrible speaker system but could still hear the radio coverage through our headsets (impossible now). In recent years, we could no longer carry on a conversation with those around us without screaming into each other's ears....never get a break from the constant barrage of external noise and finally, after years of requests, could hear the band in the South end. Unfortunately, all we heard was the same piped music, multiple times, droning on and on throughout the entire season while only hearing the band a time or two each game.
We understood the changing times. We understood the added security after 9/11. We realized we were getting older and they were attempting to keep things "young" but they lost us from overdoing it. Part of a gameday experience is some of the people whom u've met over the years and are always there. 26 years....we had a good 20 year run but all things considered, they've made just about every possible mistake they could have made to keep truly, loyal fans content and willing to spend money. Honestly, we never discussed paying for an inferior product. We loved coming to A2 on gameday but enough was enough.
Football should be about the experience....the football experience. The cheerleaders, the band, the team, the crowd, the radio announcer as well as the stadium announcer. A small amount of outside force is acceptable. It has become a "show" more than a sporting event. Fine for those who enjoy it. Not us. Not anymore.
Yeah I have zero idea what Bacon is referring to here. The gameday experience feels the same for all intents and purposes once I enter the stadium as it did 5 and 10 years ago. Having been to NW, Purdue, PSU and IU in my time, the complaints people have had are laughable for the most part. I can still hear the band and they get plenty of time during the game. I don't see ads plastered all over the place and every little thing isn't sponsored.
...but I see what you're saying.
What about a free ride if you've already paid? Then what?
It's exactly like that.
Yeah I really do think.
The price of everything in the stadium (concessions, souvenirs, etc..) has gone up while the quality and/or quantity has gone down. The food is so disgusting.
My kids always wants snacks/foods and when we buy them they are always stale, cold, burnt, etc... Kettle corn is the only good thing there and this year, the bag is smaller and it costs a dollar more. Pizza is cold, stale - it must sit there at least 4-5 hours before they sell and it costs $9 (used to be $6). I ordered a pulled chicken sandwich - it was cold and so burnt that it was seriously mostly charcoal - $12. The soft pretzels aren't soft at all - they're cold and hard. Now, I could have gone back and gotten my money in return, but I'd miss about 5 minutes of the game at least and it's just not been worth it.
The concessions have gotten worse each year and I just do not understand how Michigan does not care about the quality in its concessions. We're now at the point where we make sure we always eat before the game and only get kettle corn in the stadium.
Who buys food when you are going to a Michigan football game?
I generally arrive from a tailgate party, where we've been enjoying really really good food and drink; the best, in fact.
I always looked at people lining up for craptastic stadium-type food and wonder what they were doing before the game. The shit that is sold is just horrific. Nachos slathered with cheese-substitute-product. Hot dogs. Kettle corn.
I bring an apple in my pocket for halftime. I'll buy a bottle of water on a hot day. A cup of coffee on a cold day. (With a little Baileys and Kalhua and/or cognac, it's nice.)
But really; who wants to miss a minute of what is happening inside the stadium, to wait in a line to buy the garbage that is sold on the outside? Is there something about a stadium event that drives people to buy and consume the worst food imaginable?
As far as the prices go; my contempt for the product makes the price mostly irrelevant to me. But since my PSD is now $2,400 -- before I buy four season tickets at almost $95 each, for each and every game -- the cost and quality of soft pretzels isn't really on my radar.
I understand you have a large and diverse fan base to cater to. But not everybody has to love every song played. Be unique, and in time those who weren't familiar with it will will get familiar with it. There are so many M fans and alums who could do a great, unique, and authentically Michigan thing with the music. And do it sparingly.
Most of the video board stuff has been been great, loved the addition of the walk from the locker room this year.
You mean you don't like hearing Seven Nation Army 22 times a game, every single game? That means you get to hear it about 176 times a year... just at the stadium! It's awesome!
If Michigan is going to interfere with the band, and bludgeon us with recorded music, at least make it funny and smart and entertaining.
I do not want Michigan Stadium to look and sound and feel like every other big stadium, be it the NFL or NBA or anything similar. Everybody does Seven Nation Army. The Red Sox -- the fucking Red Sox -- invented "Sweet Caroline" as an anthem. I feel like I am at a Red Wings game when they play Journey.
We have a marching band. One of the greatest marching bands in the history of the genre. Feature them.
One other point this week is that the Ohio State Marching Band will be in the House and when we have two bands there, the need and the point of recorded music is almost beyond understanding.
The price of the ticket doesnt equal the product on the field...95 or more to watch THIS?
Bacon has been mad at Brandon since he fired his pal RR.
I think Brandon may have been mad at Bacon ever since Bacon exposed the inner sanctum of the Athletic Department offices.
You are both 100% correct.
As much as I complain about this kind of stuff, I have to admit that the lack of success on the field is what makes it so glaring. Double-digit win seasons and conference championships would make me less bitchy about prices and more inclined to tell the AD to shut up and take my money.
That being said, I do think that football tickets are overpriced (I have no basis for comparison for the other sports). PSDs mean that I will never be able to afford season tickets even if the tickets themselves were more reasonably priced, which they aren't. And pricing the crap games on the schedule at $70 is just highway robbery. Games against MAC teams and low-end B1G teams should be at most $40 or $50, with "premium" games against powerhouses and rivals up in that $70-75 range.
I could do without the constant ads on the scoreboards, but as long as they stay Michigan-related and don't increase in frequency (a man can dream...) then I'll temper my disapproval.
tl;dr the team needs to get better and ticket prices need to come down.
JUB is an example of the worst PR nightmare any organization can suffer--a disillusioned ex-zealot.
Not only can the present never approach the imagined heights achieved pre-conversion but the future is the worst anything could ever be.
To wit; in his latest book Michigan is compared negatively to two programs rocked by scandal--one vacated their recent history due to cheating and lying (OSU) and another whose rotten core trascended college football and horrified society at large (PSU.) All because Michigan, along with everyone else, is chasing profits.
Thanks JUB. Love you too.
We are told -- rightly, no doubt -- that football revenues are needed, to fund ever-increasing costs; of facilities, of coaches, of travel and insurance, of tuition paid for grants in aid. Not just football, but all of the non-revenue sports.
Why? Why does college football need to pay for so much? Should college football be paying the freight for gymnastics? For "crew"? Why do we have 50 cheerleaders/yell leaders/yell assistants?
Where is the cost-containment in college football? More to the point, where is the cost-containment in all of collegiate athletics?
This is much like the recent congressional kerfuffle over student loan rates. Who really freaking cared about 1.5 points on loan rates, when it is the principal amount -- the skyrocketing tuition costs themselves -- that are getting insane? Who can afford 50k a year at some colleges even if the interest rate is zero!
It's changed some, but I'm fine with most of it. I think the piped-in RAWK is a little too much, but it's not going to ruin the game for me. I just think the balance with the band is off. Otherwise it's mostly the same. Stadium food is always expensive and not that good, no matter where you go. At least we don't have the damn wildcat noise like Northwestern does.
In general, I think Brandon does push the envelope and, usually, when he goes to far he pulls back (mascot, band to dallas, giant noodle). I think the whole attitude is more "We're going to be the best damn version of the same College Football as everyone else" rather than "We're going to be unique and that's awesome enough in and of itself". For example - Uniforms. I personally think it's cool that Oosterban's 48 looks an awful lot like today's #48 and don't need someone to try to sell me 3 alternates a year. I also worry about advertising creeping into the game. Inside the bowl at Football Saturdays is now the only ad-free space left. Spring game, Big Chill, every other Michigan event now has inherent advertising. Even score updates on the twitter feed are "Brought to you by Lowes".
As they maximize revenue from every little thing... where else will they turn for more money? I hate to think what 2015 Season Tickets will cost. And really, where does that money go? and is it necessary?
My gameday experience hasn't been ruined yet, but I am nervous about the future. Are we that far from "That's a Michigan Touchdown brought to you by Ann Arbor Torch and Pitchfork!" coming over the loudspeaker?
I took my mom to the basketball game against UMass-Lowell and afterwards we took a peak inside the stadium in one of the concourses. She hadn't been in the stadium in 20+ years. We got treated very poorly by the staff there for doing so. It's still pisses me off.
The two cons for me are:
1. Rawk Muzak: also, stop with the Seven Nation Army
2. Ticket prices for Non-Conference games. $75 is too much for EMU or Ball State.
As for Pro's:
1. Amenities: Bathrooms, etc are much better now than when I was a kid. Also, I have a three year old and took her to her first game this year (Indiana) and the nice new facilities made things easier.
2. The video boards are nice, especially for replays
For fun memories...my 1997 Michigan/Ohio ticket stub's face value was $32. We paid $50 each for them in August of '97.
Since 1964? You bet.
Despite the great game and great outcome, paying north of $500 to get the family in, $20 to park, $150 for food and souvenirs, and the many interminable timeouts for TV just wasted my desire to go again. Nothing that has been added would get me to come back, not even the Rawk Mewzak, seeing the game in replay on a big screen TV outside with 112 thousand others, and being told to Make Noise!!!!!!
I love Michigan and M Football, as 3rd gen Blue and whose first game was OSU 1969. I don't love going anymore. My boy graduated, so there isn't that driver anymore. I have the money, but the game is more than lift tickets at Jackson Hole where I don't have to wait for Buffalo Wild Wings, Buick, Victoria's Secret, Cadillac, Jaguar and other ads to be completed before I take a run down The Hobacks.
I miss the snare drum taps leading up to the charge under the banner. Hype up videos are not Fergodsakes (TM) enough.
Bring back the snare taps!!!
Few to no ads run inside the stadium, the noodle was about as close as it got.
I simply choose to eat and drink before the game and not inside. I park for free on public streets and walk 15 mins to the stadium. Am I cheap, yep! I save it up for one early fall game where I sponsor a tailgate on the umgc.
There are 3 groups of people that I think they are trying to reach with the music, the 20-30 yo, the 40-50 yo and the 60+ crowd. The stadium traditions have changed a bit over the years. I only knew 1 Beyoncé song.
What I miss is the handstand races across the field by the male cheerleaders during wm tell overture. I refuse to do the ridem horsie mime dance. However I break the anti bullying b1g rules because I do tell the other team that they suck as temptation is played.
It does seem like the AD is on a mega facilities expansion kick.....those who stay will be amazed, etc. the costs of those never go down, so get used to it is what I say. I for one would like to see some kind of restraint but I'm not at the helm either. The headline of the um is definitely diverging even more between academics and athletics. Both are good, but it's harder and harder to blur the lines between the two.
John U raises some good points, but the poor guy is almost out of complaining material. And then the tickets are going to be even more unaffordable...
Rod broke Brandon's business model, I am convinced. He was the coach who Brandon could not afford to keep. And it could happen again...but I doubt it.
I'm late on all of those student section things but the fun of throwing marshmallows and pizza box tops was priceless and still seems harmless other than some poor groundskeepers who had to keep the corner of the end zone clean. If you want attendance here's my answer. Pick two rows, in 2 student sections, at the start of each game. If you are seated, you get a $100 meijer gift card to be passed out on the spot. I guesstimate that's $4000. That's so cheap IMO given the ad's rail cars of cash. And for a poor starving student....it's like a months worth of food! The way to a student's heart is thru the stomach. Mark it down...
That gift card idea is brilliant.
I went to the Nebraska game and just wasn't feeling it like I used to. I had student tickets from 2005-2007 and went to about 12 games from 2008-2012 so I've seen good and bad play on the field so I am discounting that.
After 30 years of tailgating in the same spot in the Victors/Champions East we will be bumped from the lot altogether for next year after our group loses it's last pass after losing the first two season ago. (We pooled $ so a couple people could donate enough to get the passes.) It won't be the same not seeing the Spartan, Ohio State, and other opposing marching bands come through and be able to hear the Michigan marching band play "The Victors" from the exterior tunnel entrance. That has always been like church bell ringing signaling a call to service and I will miss that. I will however take the memories and realize that I grew up a bit spoiled by that but it is still a disappointing change that has happend in the last couple years.
Playing AC/DC Thunderstruck before the team ran out was annoying; especially seeing as how MSU has been using that song prior to the Spartans running onto the field for years. The only thing missing was a wolverine mascot with laser eyes. While the touching of the banner still gives me chills the lead up was just lame because it reminded of a State game. During the game the use of Seven Nation Army needs to be curbed by 50% and the "Gopher Dance" song needs to stop. I have mixed feelings on the band being mic'd. While it's great to hear the band sometimes it get really distorted and the delay when sitting in the south endzone is a little annoying.
Price isn't a factor to me but value is. It is why I passed on getting season tickets for this year and will pass next year if offered. The amount of money is fine if the quality of opponents is equal to the asking price on the ticket. In no way is Akron, Central, App. St. or any other tomato can they bring in worth the face value of $75 (public). I have used StubHub a lot and usually get them for below face. As I said my only game this year was Nebraska and I picked up two tickets for just $38 per seat and just didn't enjoy it like I used to. From everything I listed above to the drunken presidents speech and the 4 open seats next to me all game it just felt like shell of what I expect a Michigan game to be.
After 30 years of tailgating in the same spot in the Victors/Champions East we will be bumped from the lot altogether for next year after our group loses it's last pass after losing the first two season ago.
You are one of many who feel this way, after similar experiences.
This thread began on the topic of "game day experience." Now Dave Brandon cannot promise anyone that he will make sure that Michigan wins more football games. But he can deliver an improved "game day experience." That all surrounds tailgating before and after games, and improving parking. Michigan needs better parking and tailgating areas around the Stadium. More than anything, if "game day experience" is to count for something.
The Michigan Athletic Department is insulting long-time supporters like you, with what they have done to the Blue Lot.
I complain a lot about the talks of "tradition" that started getting really bad during the RR era.
Without going into suporting almost the entirety of what has been said here in regards to tradition, which I do support, and think serves a great deal of the electricity of the crowd environment that is "Michigan Football," it always pissed me off that we were screaming about these things while the MAIN tradition of Michigan footballl was taking a back seat to many of these people -- WINNING F'N FOOTBALL GAMES. (insert references to manball etc here)
I was a freshman at Michigan in 1978 and the first UM game I attended was the season opener against Illinois.
I seem to recall having lunch at the dorm, walking across campus to the stadium, giving my ticket to the usher, taking my seat on a bench in the freshman section, and watching the pregame practice. The players then left the field and shortly thereafter, the band marched on it, played "The Victors", etc. The team reemerged onto the field and touched the M banner as they ran to the sideslines.
The game commenced. The announcer called first downs, etc. Small groups of band members can into the stands to play. Marshmellows, toilet paper and passing girls up the rows were the things we did during the plays. There were no video scoreboards, no internet and no rawk music to keep us entertained during the down times. We also didn't know much about the other varsity teams and what they did, who they played, etc. If you looked in the sky, there were plays carrying signs orbiting overhead.
Nowadays, I drive out to Ann Arbor once a year to attend a game. I park in one of the downtown structures and get a bite to eat (usually the Broken Egg for breakfast). I walk to the stadium in much the same way I did as a student, seeing pretty much the same sights (although now there are women athletes with varsity jackets). I buy a ticket online in order to get a good seat between the 40 yard lines. The cost is markedly more than 1978, but not out of line seeing that I usually catch a game with one of the less exciting opponents (this year, it was Minnesota).
I now have my ticket scanned by an usher, but the walk to my bench seat is pretty much the same. The stadium has changed though. The chain link fence and the greenskeeper's house is gone. There are more bathrooms, larger scoreboards, more point of sale opportunities and, of course, concourses. But because I've already eaten (and bought a shirt at the M Den, if I needed one), the only thing I might buy is a Coke and maybe some popcorn.
The marshmellows and toiler paper are gone and co-eds aren't getting passed up the stadium. The band still plays the old favorites, but now we have rawk music as well. Students don't seem to be as interested in attending the games in person, but back in 1978, only a small handful were on television, so going to teh stadium was the only way to see it. Of course, we also didn't have smart phones or the internet or text messaging, etc., so more often than not, you were left talking to the person next to you or watching the UM cheerleaders grabbing the opponent's mascot and having him "do the splits" on the goal post. The planes circling the stadium are gone, but they've been replaced by sky writing and guys with rocket packs jetting in and out of the stadium.
The team uniforms look pretty much like they did in 1978, except the "maize" is brighter and the pants aren't two-toned. The helmet stripes are pretty much the same, but there have been some changes (including no helmet stickers). Michigan still runs under the banner, but after a win, they now head to the student's section. We also now know when the next women's volleyball game is being played.
To be honest, I haven't seen much changing to the core of the Michigan football experience I knew as a student over three decades ago. Obviously, the tickets are more expensive (I think I remember the tickets costing $8 per game for students back in 1978). The stakes have changed too. Winning the Big Ten and going to the Rose Bowl was pretty much it in terms of program goals, but as of next season, we'll be seeing a four-team playoff (talk about long overdue). But much of what I knew is pretty much the same.
I think John U. Bacon goes off on nostalgia trips from time to time, and his latest book is one of them. Yeah, there was a time when Michigan sucked so badly that you could walk into the stadium without anyone caring. I also suppose that in the good old days (and I remember them), a group of kids would run around the neighborhood and imitate the marching band (but now, they can watch them on Youtube along with several hundred cable channels).
The one thing I'd definitely like to continue not seeing is advertising inside the stadium. I realize UM could make money doing it, but if there's one big thing that keeps the football experience "collegiate", it's the absence of ads. I've been in other venues, college and pro in all different sports, where you're bombarded by people selling stuff. If Brandon wants to really lose favor with the fans, he goes out and does something dumb like that.
Thanks for taking the time to write that.
Wow, great summary! Do they not still pass coeds up the stands? They did in the early 2000s when I was in school.
You must be old!
We bought rum and apple cider on the way to the game. Dumped out half of the cider and filled the jug with rum.
bass drum intro to the team coming out of the tunnel with the let's go blue chant going.
During the game every commercial on tv is accompanied with commercials at the game or something. It'd be nice just to have some quiet every once in a while. Most of the commercials are the same every week too, I could do without a weekly announcement of the new sports team construction projects.
I do like the intro videos a lot, I like the passing of the ball from famous players to our players...
This isn't in anyway Michigan/Dave Brandon's fault and I also have no statistics to back this up, but it seems there are more frequent and longer TV timeouts. Just within the past few years more so than ever, it seems many people in the stadium are staring at the man in the red hat for quite a while waiting to get the game going. Often time it seems the players are more than ready but they have to wait for the man in the red hat to give the go-ahead.
I remember the TV sucks chants waiting for the guy to step back on to the sidelines.
The music and non-stop ads make it feel more like an NFL game which isn't a good thing.
Commodified? Not really sure. I understand the business part of college football much better now, and the fact the UM is on a rampant facility upgrading spree. Prices are only heading north and there is no stopping it. I've had my season seats for many years. What really got me this year, more so than any other, was the fact that I became really hypnotized by all the preseason hype (Lewan returning, Fitz healthy, JMFR & Countess healthy, DG spending all summer with a QB guru, etc) and then proceeded to be taken to the woodshed. It may be a while before this old guy is super stoked about the team again, but I plan to keep my season seats.
I find now, and this is for all major sports, all teams, both college and pro, the cost to attend is higher than the joy of being at the game.
I cannot justify spending the money. The cost of going to just ONE game, including gas, food etc is more than what it would cost me to take the family on a trip someplace for a long weekend or longer.
The commercialization process is so constant and gradual that I think many don't notice all the small changes happening each year. My guess is that if the average fan could step back into a game 20 years ago they would be shocked by the differences. But in the end, what is left of original American culture anywhere today?
As a current senior, staying for a fifth year, I have a problem with a few of the changes I've noticed over the last few years. Primarily the pricing changes the way I look at it, especially with a less than excellent performance on the field. Additionally, the Athletic Department has decided it's ok to take us, the ticket buying fans, for granted. A belief their product is necessary for us to live. They're pushing it to find our collective breaking point and in doing so, have surpassed it for many. From a student's perspective, they make major decisions that often snub some people and refuse to take any stance other than that of "well if you don't like it, you don't need to go." thankfully, they finally figured out a way to handle the FB GA so whatever (surprise! it was leave us the hell alone), but the way they handled the oversale of basketball was garbage. The skywriting was unanimously viewed as a poor representation of Michigan and definitely help my or others' feeling towards the AD. The direction the AD has decided to take and pushing the current students into a battle with them is extremely short-sighted, as it makes a lot of us not want to donate anything to the department in the future.
But back to the football games..
The piped-in, obnoxiously loud recorded music is getting really excessive, made worse by the song choice also getting worse. Seven Nation Army is stupid. Sure it was a great boost at the end of the ND game 2 years ago, but it should have stopped there, rather than getting ridiculous like it has now. EVERYONE AND THEIR FREAKING STEP-CHILD USES THAT SONG! This includes the hairless nuts from Columbus. Stop it. Now. Also, whoever was in charge of the music selection should have lost their music privileges when they played 'Blurred Lines' 3 times in a row. Ignoring the subject matter, it's a bad song and you're going to repeatedly cut off our band for that?
I understand that TV timeouts are an unfortunate part of the machine that is CFB being on TV all the time now, but the loud, intrusive videos that always play on the screens are terrible. They completely high-jack the atmosphere in the stadium and distract from the game. Don't do something in the middle of a game that requires everyone to be quiet and divert their attention entirely from the field. This ignorance is flat out offensive to me after all the passive-aggressive bitching the Ath. Dept. has given the students over the past year. Those pieces do more bad than several thousand students not showing up at the game at all.
That was just a couple of them
I don't even like the new press box/suites. The stadium is unrecognizable from outside and it feels different inside. The other stuff is tiny and I have no opinion of.