No thanks. Nothing says gameday like tailgating miles from the stadium in a Meijer parking lot and then getting on a bus.
well that's just, like, your opinion, man
No thanks. Nothing says gameday like tailgating miles from the stadium in a Meijer parking lot and then getting on a bus.
My family always parks at the Gymnastics/Tennis facilities on gameday. It's a bit of a hike through the golf couse, but it's easy access to the highway and much less crowded.
What's stopping people from tailgating at the commuter lot is that it's literally miles from the stadium.
The bottom line here isn't the commuter lots, it's that over the past 4 years, the University has -decreased- the number of available game-day parking spots (lopped off a huge chunk of the Blue Lot while transforming most of the rest of it into designated suite parking, FieldTurfing Elbel), increased capacity at the Stadium, is talking increasing it even more, and the solution to the parking issue isn't adding more parking spots, but rather putting people on buses?
That's short-sighted. I'm sure you have a great experience parking at the commuter lot and taking a stroll with your beer, but I'm sure those extra 10,000 people riding buses to the Stadium aren't going to feel the same way about it.
And, let's address it from this angle, too: Where are those buses going to drive in and out? Traffic is already crazy right now, and adding the buses for transporting a few thousand people in and out of there is just asking for a bunch of folks sitting on the bus for a really, really long time, both in and out of the game. Heck, I remember taking those shuttles they used to have for the Maize Rage for basketball games, and even navigating through basketball traffic for less than 10,000 people meant sitting on a Blue Bus for about 45 minutes to get from Crisler to the Union.
Long story short, Athletics has been sidestepping the parking issue for years. This is just more of the same. It doesn't have to be an elaborate below-ground structure to get the job done.
If you are talking about the William Clay Ford tennis complex parking, the Athletic Department has a name for it; it is the Brown Lot, and the commuter Lot to the south is named the Maize Lot.
The Brown Lot fills up, even though they have stopped the trolley-style buses across the golf course.
The Maize Lot is just a long freaking walk to the Stadium. Look at it on a map, it is like walking from downtown. A more pleasant walk, perhaps, across the golf course, but still a half-hour walk or more. Probably more. And as far as I know, there are no buses from up there. You gotta walk.
I think it was Bando -- he rightly pointed out that if they are going to expand the bus traffic to the Stadium, they are going to have to plan for that, too. They might actually have to do what seemed like an incredible threat; to close down Main Street to all but buses and emergency vehicles. What a fine mess that would be.
But not everybody is "able bodied". What about them? Not everyone wants to walk a country mile through Ann Arbor in November weather...
You can always find some house charging to park on their lawn.
Why should we be counting on area lawn space to accomodate the capacity of our football stadium?
You're not counting on area lawn space, unless you're too lazy to walk from the outer parking lots. If you want a convenient spot, go early and/or pony up the cash. It's the downside of having a stadium on campus.
But you don't think another 5k people are going to find it difficult?
No, I think parking will just span further across campus. More people will park in the structure next to Scorekeepers, the structure by Ricks, and the other campus structures, the neighborhoods on campus, etc. People will adapt. Of course a gigantic parking structure connected to the existing parking lots would be ideal, but it doesn't sound like it's a smart financial decision.
Where do you expect the 10,000 people to line up to board the bus immediately after the game?
Stadium Blvd is already packed with people trying to board the AATA shuttles.
The North Side of the stadium is flooded with people in the streets walking back to campus.
Bussing is a bottleneck. They do not have the number of busses necessary to efficiently move 10,000 people without waiting in hour long lines.
If the stadium was not on the very edge of South Campus and forever and a day from where the bulk of university employees and students actually work/go to class/live, an underground lot would actually not be a bad idea. Of course, as Brandon pointed out, they are expensive and they wouldn't have constant revenue over by the stadium.
As for the garage downtown, I sat in several of the DDA meetings because I had the job of relocating Edison facilities around the old Library lot. I also put the two steel poles at Packard and Division for the DDA. Maybe the DDA can throw some money at Brandon since they're willing to give it to us, it seems.
Yes but massive surface lots all around the stadium look like shit. I don't really want to walk through lot after lot to reach the stadium.
Just get together with your group and rent out a front yard from some group of students. We made an arrangement with a house to rent out their yard for parking / tailgating for a flat rate. It's more fun tailgating there anyways. They'll let use their bathrooms, kitchen, and our parties just kind of merge together. It's a much better enviroment overall.
Totally agree. Which is why I (and others) have been strongly advocating for structured parking in existing surface lots, which doesn't eat up the surrounding areas with pavement AND offers more parking than those hypothetical lots would ever accomodate. DB's argument concerning their financial shortcomings doesn't strike me as legitimate or realistic. You've got plans in place to put 120,000+ people in that stadium. It's time to have the infrastructure to accomodate it, not band-aid buses taking people miles from the atmosphere around the stadium.
Building a parking stucture that will be at full capacity 7-8 times a year (at best) is absoultely the least cost effective plan to endorse. There's no way to generate income from it and would be an eyesore unless you want to spend 25 million instead of 15. 3
Unless someone donates a crap ton of cash to fund a structure adjacent to the stadium for Suite members or season ticket holders, it's not practical.
One could say the same thing about dumping tens of millions of dollars into a stadium that is only at full capacity 7-8 times per year.
The fact of life is that if we're going to have a stadium that seats 120,000+ people, you have to be willing to make investments to provide the infrastructure to support 120,000+. Even if said infrastructure is only used for those 7-8 times per year. We're still, for all intents and purposes, working with the same parking base (in fact, even less), the same roads, and the same surrounding neighborhoods as we were when Michigan Stadium sat 101,701.
I don't know why it's so controversial (or Flamebait, in the MGoUniverse) to suggest we take steps to alleviate what was already a problem before we expanded, well, three expansions ago.
My only comment on capacity expansion is that our larger stadium mostly holds "non tailgaters". Guys with boxes are going to pregame in their luxury boxes, not in folding chairs in the Gray Lot. I'm betting most of these people will be parked somewhere nice and VIP bused in so they don't even have to walk through a lot to get to the stadium and deal with traffic around the stadium (plus it gives us more time to beg them for money). Unless we go insanely with the standing room only ticket sales we don't really add "tailgaters" until we fill that endzone in.
As for infrastructure expansion talk to the city really. AA refuses to put in any large roads because they'd "lose the small town feel"/"encourage urban sprawl"/"it's not enviromental, people shouldn't drive"/"Our downtown master transit plan is to discourage drivers"/etc. The hospital is screaming for better connects to US-23/M-14 so ambulances can get there faster and AA is being difficult. Last I heard we were getting the state to put the heat on the city council to do something about Depot/Fuller and the Geddes (the flooding issue).
It would actually be nice if we could arrange it so that VIP's were provided off-site premium parking, and bused in.
But that is not really what happens. Instead, they get premium Champions lot parking, right next to the Stadium. And that effectively eliminates a lot of great tailgating atmosphere. Empty cars, parked, with their owners up in the Jack Roth Stadium Club. Instead of out in the Blue Lot, surroundng the Stadium with an ocean of party. I am actually surprised, that it hasn't been more pronounced than what we saw last year. I expect that it will be, as the premium seating sells out and more and more people decide to simply go to a catered lunch upstairs in the Concourse, instead of creating their own duplicative tailgate lunch.
It is working at cross-purposes, to give the best tailgating parking places to people who won't tailgate. It takes planning, to create a great atmosphere. The worst part of the Stadium renovation planning, maybe the only bad part, has been the total fail on parking issues.
One could say the same thing about dumping tens of millions of dollars into a stadium that is only at full capacity 7-8 times per year.
come on, man. we MAKE MONEY on that. as in, more revenue than expendature. a structure doesn't make money. it's a money pit. Look, it's definately a problem and has been for a while. However, the solution has to be cost effective. Somehow people survive when the golf courses ban parking due to weather conditions. It's not an emergency situation.
Those aren't prime seats. They will just be crappy $50 seats, with no PSD's attached. No donations, no waiting lists, no leverage to other unrestricted giving.
It's not about revenue.
It is all about our being able to say to the world, "Ours is bigger." Period.
well, it's already bigger than anyone elses's. Also, an additional 6-10k up top allows more room to offer more PSD seating down below. So it might be a wash but there's also opportunity to generate a bit mroe revenue from consessions etc.
I think the break even point is way out in the future.
You can earn revenue on a parking garage too, just charge people to park there...$50 for an endzone seat isn't significantly larger than $40 for a parking spot on Game Day, and you can park the campus community in the structure year round.
How do you do gameday tailgating in a parking structure though? I agree that parking structures could be made to work but they don't really solve the tailgate issue. You can't fire up the grill on Level 4B of a structure. Tailgates would still be going for other options and if you're just parking in a structure and walking who cares if you have to spend 15 mins on a blue bus?
I'd think the local thing to do with structures is as Central Campus expands remove some of the current parking structures to make room for campus buildings. Build new structures down by the stadiums and expand bus service between the athletic campus and central. During the workday they're Blue structures, on nights and weekends sell parking for hockey, basketball, softball, football, etc.
By the Stadium, but no one wants to use it and bus to campus. So the blue lots on campus are packed, and the University's commuter plan fails.
Dave Brandon seems to be a graduate of the Jim Tressel School of Punctuation!!
He sells commas and periods for tattoos and free helmets?
and a father who worked for 25 years as a Fedex delivery driver in Ann Arbor. Parking has and never will be an issue for me.
.....when I get tempted to stick the Detroit Edison stickers on my car and just put my car anywhere I bloody well please. For short periods, I have done it admittedly, but never on a game day.
As a South Bend resident, any time an out of town friend or relative comes for a ND game, I instruct them to use one of the commuter lots. They are much easier than to try to fight traffic near the stadium on game days. Getting away from ND stadium after a game can literally take a couple of hours. Or, spend 15 minutes on a bus and get in your car in a place with no significant traffic and be on your way.
I will probably not soon forget one of these bus rides, after the Sept 13 2008 game where Sam McGuffie teased us with a glimpse of what might have been, and we lost to the Irish in an absolute downpour. That ride to the commuter lot and the short drive back to my house, soaked to the bone, was pretty damn miserable.
But still, if done properly, commuter lots can be nice as long as you aren't trying to host a tailgate.
I think the bottom line translates to this: We don't care if they have a good gameday experience or not, we just want the extra revenue from 10,000 seats without having to pay for the permanent infrastructure to support it.
Foolish, cold, corporate line of thinking, IMO.
I presume that the thinking is, "Nobody is going to have a bigger seating capacity than us. We can always make up the numbers on how many people are really there and sitting in those seats. We are just not going to let anybody build more seats than what we have. We'll worry about all the rest later."
How about the University of Michigan?
I hear they have some cash, and it just so happens the parking garage could serve beautifully all year round as a commuter lot for students, GSI's and professors - just like the surface lot already does.
I'm all for creative excuses but lets find the ones that benefit the AD rather than the ones that blow off the fans trying to maintain their gameday experience.
The Crisler lot is full during the day year round. And the University just lost a pretty huge parking lot that was used during the non-fall months, Elbel Field, which used to be student athlete parking. Blue and Yellow Lot passes are at a certain premium for the student body, and lots of folks already use the further-out commuter lots near North Campus and down State towards Briarwood to park on an everyday basis, so there really isn't any reason to believe there wouldn't be a market to fill a parking structure near the stadium.
In a post above you belittle the idea of tailgating in a Meijer parking lot. Please explain who is going to want to tailgate in a parking structure?
What about people who don't tailgate? Given the choice between parking in a commuter lot and taking a bus to the stadium versus having to fight traffic to get to a structure near the stadium and then be stuck in a huge traffic jam trying to exit from that structure after the game, most would choose the former.
one of the best places to tailgate is in the B-School structure across from the Psi U house. People tailgate there for every football game, without fail. it works fine. If that structure were relocated to the Blue Lot, there would be a waiting list, to pay a premiuim, to get in.
Yeah agreed. At Georgia one year I went to the GaTech UGA game in Athens. It rained, so the parking structure worked out just fine.
For example, I have taken the shuttle from Briarwood Mall to the game.
IMO, it sucks. The lines you have to wait in to board the bus after the game are mammoth. Sure - people arrive at different times so the wait to get to the stadium isn't bad, but to leave - it's bad.
I'll take my parking spots on the golf course or Fingerle lumber every time, and usually, I don't tailgate.
Maybe during the school year. But right now Parking is begging people to use those lots other than the Blue downtown.
No, the university does not have a lot of disposable income right now. That $8 billion endowment can't be touched since all of that money is contractually allocated elsewhere by donors. That and the annual 15% funding cuts the university gets from the state doesn't help- and no, tuition increases do not even make up for it.
There is a perception that UM has tons of money laying around to use that just isn't there. We are fortunate that UM hasn't had the hiring freezes and mass layoffs that other schools have had due to the economic recession, but that is only because Michigan has planned for economic hardship and is one of the best-run universities in the country financially.
UM needs the major gifts and the $50 here and there from their donors to be able to function, much less undertake big construction projects.
How would a parking garage down on the commuter lot on South Campus be any different?
Since you can park in the commuter lot for free, you don't make any money. You would have to charge people to park there year-round and expect people to fill it. Maybe you could do that, but it couldn't operate like a commuter lot.
Parking garages are really expensive, and we don't have $15.7M laying around. Should it be higher on the university's priority list? Definitely. But the perception that the university has millions just laying around is false- these things are planned almost a decade in advance to have proper financing for it.
For my suggestion to work, the business case would have to be made that they can sell considerably more parking permits as a result of building the garage, leading to the kind of revenue necessary to justify the expense.
I'm not suggesting the U has endless cash reserves in order to fund whatever project they want, but certainly they have the cash flow and borrowing capacity to fund a project of this nature if it serves the academic community and the need exists. A similar argument was made for a Crisler arena renovation back in the day, too.
...it really wasn't much of an answer.
What he said. Well done, Section 1.
"I just cannot accept Dave Brandon's pronouncement that we'd be talking about something that would get used 7 times a year. Ann Arbor is a city with some of the lousiest parking choices in this state. No one can say Ann Arbor doesn't need any more parking, and keep a straight face."
True, but that structure would be near UM athletics and nothing else. That said, the parking for basketball and hockey games is pretty awful and I'm sure an easy access structure could be used for those sports. Brandon's right, though, in that it would pretty much sit empty during the spring and summer. No one in Ann Arbor would park all the way out there for non-athletic purposes.
I was about to post a much shorter, more clumsily worded version of this. Well done, Section 1. People seem to accept the fact that Ann Arbor has an awful parking situation. Even when we are not talking about football game situations, it is really not fun to find parking when you go to downtown Ann Arbor. While I have no idea about the logistics of putting in a major parking structure somewhere within walking distance to both the stadium and the downtown attractions, I find it hard to believe that it would be near empty on non game days. A few years ago, when I was a student, we would regularly hoard parking spots on the streets, and cram 6 cars into a lot designed for 2 cars. I'm sure everyone here has similar stories, and as nostalgic as they may be, it sucks. With more university parking, there is no doubt that it would be used by students and non-students more than the game days. That is just silly, but I do appreciate Brandon shooting you an email back(and I appreciate you posting it, btw).
That being said, maybe its outside the scope of the athletic department. Why are we expecting the athletic department to fix Ann Arbor institution of crappy parking? Sure, parking is at it's worst on gamedays, but I don't really hold it against Brandon for choosing to lobby for sexier projects like stadium renovations and scoreboards when he is part of the athletic department. Maybe our questions are better answered by the university itself.
...at the thought of the traffic snarl going down Main Street to and fro a parking structure on Football Saturdays.
Not to mention a parking structure halfway b/w the stadium and downtown would put it right in the heart of the historic Old West Side Neighborhood. I'd be willing to bet that the residents would overwhelmingly vote against such a structure. Furthermore, it would probably violate local ordinance on preserving skylines.
The Scarlet, designed by Mackenzie as a true championship golf course, but allowed to deteriorate and then redesigned by Jack Nicklaus' design firm. (Naturally.) Nicklaus Design turned it into a very demanding tournament course, hosting a Nationwide Tour (Nationwide Insurance is headqaurtered in Columbus) event. But in the process, all of the Mackenzie history was taken out of the course.
The Gray is a short course that is substandard for any major competition.
Michigan's golf course, by comparison, is relatively preserved, and there is now talk of doing even more historically-correct preservation work to it.
Dave Brandon has a very, very refined sense of what good golf is, being a good player himself (and being a member at a Donald Ross-designed golf club that has hosted USGA events), and I expect that he will be a good steward of the UMGC.
There are only a very few Mackenzie golf courses in the USA. And they are mostly sensational courses: on the short list are Augusta National (with Perry Maxwell), Cypress Point, Pasatiempo, The Valley Club of Montecito, Crystal Downs, UMGC (again with Maxwell), OSU-Scarlet.
to be very precise, Mackenzie designed Augusta National with Bob Jones, and he did Crystal Downs with Maxwell. Perry Maxwell was a brilliant designer in his own right (Prairie Dunes) and what we now know as the 10th at Augusta was Maxwell's design.
At Michigan, Maxwell is largely (and very incorrectly) forgotten, because the name of Mackenzie is so sexy in the minds of most casual golf fans, being linked to Augusta and the Cypress Point Club. Maxwell had a LOT to do with Michigan's greens and general course design, and the talk among the golf architecture cognoscenti is that Maxwell's original-design greens were a LOT bigger!
Putting a garage in the Blue Lot is a pretty awesome idea. The university actually could charge a lot of money on gamedays, and use it well for basketball, and probably come up with a way to get people over to hockey without too much trouble.
The main problem I'm seeing is the traffic in and out of the area. It's already pretty awful getting into and especially out of the Blue Lot (at least from appearance, I've never been able to park there myself) since the exit goes through the students leaving the game. You could put an exit out to Stadium, but that would be a traffic nightmare, too.
And that last line is why they are revamping and beefing up their fundraising efforts at Athletics. Expect a much more aggressive- and profitable- Athletics fundraising operation in the next few years. They just hired a new Director of Development and from the looks of the job postings are really cleaning house.
good parking spot is always an adventure on game days. Having been a student I guess I had a different perspective on going to a game because we just tailgated at our house (lived on S Division, I didn't realize how good I had it.) Last year I went for the first time to the golf course tailgate, had an awesome time and totally understand the appeal of being able to tailgate before the games. That being said I'm still kind of amazed at how easy it can be to find parking if you're willing to walk a little bit. I went back for the 2009 OSU game and as we were coming up 23 we passed the backed up exits for 94, Washtenaw and got off the highway at Geddes where there were literally maybe 3 cars in front of us an hour before kickoff. We ended up parking at the structure on S Forest and even though we had a decent walk to the stadium we saved a huge amount of time taking this route. For me walking/having to take a bus through AA isn't as big of a deal bc I love getting to see campus, but I'd definitely rather be doing it from the north instead of having to park south of campus at Meijers and coming up Main Street.
....that park at the substation on Hoover. You can get a few cars into the drive. I actually have a friend that lives on Potter near S. Seventh, and I sneak into his driveway.
I don't understand why people have such an aversion to parking in the structures. It's not really very expensive, and it's not that far. I always park in the structures. I've never been shut out of a space (and I don't get there that early - I'm usually there like 60-90 minutes before kickoff). Yeah, you have to walk maybe 10 minutes, but I enjoy that walk across campus. I don't understand what compels people to pay insane prices to park at the golf course or Pioneer, or break their backs to find a space in some guy's yard when there's a simple alternative. (Though it ends up working out for me, so I guess I shouldn't complain.)
I park in the structures too, jmblue. The only negative thing I can say about it is that it sometimes takes well over an hour to leave the structure after the game. I guess it's unavoidable when you're talking about a parking structure, but when you have had your fun and are ready to head on home, no one wants to wait 1:30 to get out of there. Still better than paying ridiculous prices and waiting just as long on the roads, I guess.
That has happened to me and it's brutal. It's best to get something to eat after the game, and then try to leave. Usually it's then OK to get out.
They used to regularly walk from the Hill dorm and apartments and Frats further than that to go to games. And they still tailgated; they just left early. There's parking in those areas and closer. South of the Stadium (and west) and you don't even have to go to Meijer. The Neighborhoods past Busch and Whole Foods and behind Pioneer aren't filled. I walk from there, and MSU last year was the only time parking came that far. More, maybe I can sell some lawn space.
People tailgate all over, not just in the golf course. If you're too old to walk even that far, you should be planning better, getting there early, and paying more. If you don't have the money? I think it'd be great if 50 yard line seats only cost the same as my seats, but they don't. Life isn't fair. I wonder how many people saying "can't walk to Stadium because they're too old" would also say after not walking they should be standing the whole game once inside. Can't walk, but dammit, stand! What this is really about is everyone wants the hot spots right in the shadow of the Stadium, and there aren't enough. But it's like that everywhere. I've been to other stadiums, and never get to park anywhere near enough to have a shorter walk than I've had to go to see a home game. ND all the way through campus and fields, Purdue, MSU through the city, across the cesspool of Columbus, Hell, the El gets crammed on the north side of Chicago going to NW. And driving in and out is far worse. It's just a sense of entitlement.
What's his e-mail address?
Brandon is right. You can't spend big bucks on something that is necessary seven or eight times a year. We have a house near the airport. On occasion, I take a bus from the Sheraton on Boardwalk, and it has always worked fine. When tailgating, we get to town early enough to find a parking spot. If it costs a few bucks, so be it. When you look at the money that was just spent on the Big House and other athletic facilities and the quality of Michigan Stadium and the overall experience, I think we should be pretty happy with what we have.
For 120,000? You need BOTH...New parking structures around the stadium..done tastefully of course AND shuttle Bus drops...If traffic gets to be a big issue it DETRACTS substantially from the game day exerience...we need both..For satellite bus centers create a tailgate enviroment....
Please add 10 stories onto the Ross garage at Tappan and Hill. I'll park there nine months a year.
Argh. Embed fail.
Here's the link the athletic department's FY 2012 U-M Athletic Department budget:
If you go to the final page, you'll see that the outstanding debt on all the recent projects he mentioned is $209.5M in June 2012 with a debt servicing cost of $13.2M. You'll also notice that there are bridge loans in place against pledge receivables. As a matter of comparison, the figures in two years earlier in June 2010 were $174.7M and $11.0M.
The athletic department does have a postive cash flow from the football renovation due to the suite leases, premium seating, etc. The FY 2011 budgeted figure was just under $21.0M--that figure more than offsets the debt servicing costs.
Brandon does bring up the level of cash reserves. Back in FY 2003, Bill Martin started setting aside over $4M per year in a deferred maintenance fund that we knew grew to around $35M. In reading Brandon's response, I'm assuming that some amont of that cash reserve was committed to one or more of these projects. I don't know how much is left, but I suspect one of Brandon's priorities is to rebuild that account (which is in the FY 2012 budget at $4.5M) coupled with the plan to expand the south side of the stadium.
Simply put, Brandon would rather put his money into adding capacity to the stadium and selling tickets, etc. to more patrons than building parking structures nearby that won't have the same rate of return, payback, etc. If it means shuttle buses, etc., then that's the route he's prepared to go.
As a non tailgate person, I generally park somewhere in town, get a bite to eat at a restaurant before the game, and walk across campus and down State Street to get to the stadium. Perhaps once I get older, I'd be less willing to walk and I'd take the bus, but it's not a major inconvenience for me at this point.
It only really works if it is a train of coolers. This guy needs at least one cooler per quarter.
Are the seats at Sideline 21 Row B blocked by the players?? Can someone let me know if these are decent tickets or if they are too close to the field that they are blocked? I am coming in from out of town and want to make sure they are good tickets. Any help is apprieciated. Thanks
...but I find Brandon's lazy email style rather unprofessional. *Three* ellipses? I'm hard-pressed to fake myself into believing even one of those was necessary.
They are better overall, but I can certainly understand why the value isn't there. Parking structures are more expensive than a lot of people think, and they get prohibitively expensive the larger they are, whether below or aboveground. How much parking would you want a structure or multiple structures near the stadium to have? Parking is a huge hassle, but I think the better value is to lock down certain rights of way for shuttles and mass transit on game day to and from the stadium and various parking lots.
Ann Arbor happens to be one of the most vibrant and walkable cities in the state, and making it easy to park, and drive, would diminish those qualities. I think we can build some structures, but Ann Arbor is a very liberal and progressive city, planning-wise and they don't look kindly to making it more auto-friendly.