Forgive the typos; I typed this list on my Atrix this morning during the annual Event Staff meeting at the Stadium. There were some really interesting things revealed, including that the Stadium's next expansion is already late in the design phase... Everything after I start citing Dave Brandon is from the AD himself. Everything else is from various Athletic Department admins. So without further ado, here is what was imparted to the event staff today:
The student section has expanded to end halfway through 34
Straws and lids are back
Event Staff gets new uniforms! They are a huge improvement over the nasty baggy yellow shirts they used to give us. They're mostly blue with maize accents. If they didn't say "EVENT STAFF", I'd be happy to wear it on non-game days. I'll post pictures later on.
There is a new level of event staff: Response Team. They act in place of law enforcent in minor incidents and can issue yellow cards to fans causing problems. These function the same way as soccer and collecting too many leads to ejection from the game. The cards are bright yellow and say" This is Michigan" on one side and list the fan policies on the back. The Response Team will wear an inverted uniform (maize with blue accents). They will also patrol the fence to keep out prohibited items.
Along with the Response Team, a new incident management program is in place. All incidents called in by ushers etc will be tracked on a map and followed up on post game. This group is responsible for dispatching Response Team members.
No Smoking will be enforced heavily on the concourse this year by ticket ta kers after everyone is in the Stadium and the Response Team.
Media parking moved from Pioneer to the dirt triangle lot near Crisler.
Event staff will have special hats for the night game, but no picture yet.
Pedestrian areas will be lit around the Stadium for the night game.
Our credentials now have bar codes on them so we can be scanned in.
Yellow cards have a unique number on them.
The Stadium is no longer open to the public on non game days. This has been the during renovations but is now permanent policy. Tours can be arranged through the Athletic Dept.
Seat cushions are a go and are fastened to the benches. They are managed by an outside company that has done this elsewhere (Alabama, most rcently)
Dave brandon showed up and says that every suite and club seat is sold out, there are not 2 seats.next to each other remaining for any home game this year, and that they could have sold 175,000 tickets to the Notre Dame game. He guarantees that it will be the highest attendance at the Big House in history. He says 115,000 and that the Stadium will be bursting with fans. Special things planned for each game planned already: There will be flyovers, "special flyovers", a parachuter, fireworks, a tribute to Desmond Howard, a tribu te to Lloyd Carr.
DB says night game is a test and it's for the fans and players. A bad experience would make this the only night game. Good experience = a night game per year.
DB confirms: design completed for filling out bleachers to top of scoreboard in south end. Capacity will raise to 120,000. Opponent tickets will be up at top next to scoreboard.
No number retirement due to large squads and number sharing issues.
ESPN put together a financial package that makes the 2012 vs Alabama game MORE profitable than a home game.
Scoreboards will be complete by Aug 5 and tested in all weather and lighting conditions throughout August.