I find out today that the camp I worked at for four summers will no longer be providing summer camps. Couple that with Cliff Keen Arena, where I worked for four years in college as a student, being eliminated I don't know what to think. I've been working at my current job for four years...
RIP Ferry Field, Cliff Keen Arena
Yeah. Northwoods was on that list. Sad day.
Ferry Field is where Jesse Owes had the greatest hour in sports history.
Boy, I'm sure all these new places (and there are a LOT) will be nice and I know the athletic department is self-funded, but man, that's quite an empire at a public university. Again, I know they'll get donors and season ticket holders to pony up, but it's quite stunning. I have no idea how other Div 1A schools, outside a group of 20 or so (Texas, OSU, Stanford, etc) will ever remotely keep up. Which is the idea, I suppose.
If space, money, and overall progress can lead to the demolition of Yankee Stadium, I'm pretty sure the athletic department is not very out of line with getting rid of Ferry Field.
Thank you for sharing that link. I think someone should pass it along to Brandon.
Pave paradise, put up a parking lot. Literally.
Michigan's first football stadium, essentially.
This is such a ghastly paving-over of history. To me it is much like putting up a parking lot in the middle of the diag.
I met Willis Ward at a football tailgate on Ferry Field when I was a little boy. I'll never forget it.
I have to wonder; before this terrible destruction of what is arguably the most hallowed ground in Michigan sports apart from the Big House, what about Elbel field, directly across the street from the Canham Natatorium? Couldn't that land have been used? Is it going to be used for something else?
This decision is shocking and, for any Michigan history buff, horrifying.
Just a couple of years ago the ADept dished out quite a few dollars for a new FieldTurf surface at Elbel Field for the MMB to practice on.
In the new aerial artist's-depiction, Elbel Field is below the bottom cutoff of the picture. Too far to the north, in other words. The band practices on that patch of field turf that is marked like the Stadium. But then there are the rugby/softball fields to the south.
Elbel field is used more frequently by the student body who lives near Hoover than Ferry field. That is a great place to throw a frisbee, play softball, football, etc. As a younger alum, I would hate to see that go and feel it is more important as a green space than Ferry IMO.
Paving over a historic football field? That is perfectly good idea.
I guess I would feel differently if a building was going in, or there was something of real substantive value. But a parking lot? I know event parking is at a premium, but bulldozing something like Ferry Field to expand the Gray Lot is just... It's wrong.
I see your missing the point.
...it's "you're". /grammar nazi
I love the history of Ferry Field but the track team does deserve better.
I had heard a while ago that the Office of Student Life was trying to get the athletic department to use Ferry Field for the expansion of the Intramural Building. Michigan has the absolute worst student workout facilities and there is nowhere else on central campus to expand.
No big shocker that Dave Brandon would sooner get the additional revenue for some parking than dedicate the space to the actual needs of the students by expanding the IM Building.
Sometimes I wonder if that guy realizes that the Athletic Department is part of the greater University.
It's still halfway down the front page. Not sure if this is a special little snowflake angle, or you could have at least hyperlinked the thread 8 down, but whatever.
Thought it deserved it's own thread. Reflecting on the loss of one of the most historic places on campus.
Ferry field is not one of the most historic places on campus. I had to google the name when it came up in the other thread.
Don't know how anyone with at least a vague familiarity with South Campus, much less Michigan Ahletics, doesn't know what Ferry Field is.
The scene of most of our national championships in football. Where the old "Foot Ball Department" was born. Where, as mentioned, Jesse Owens had the greatest day in sports history.
Seeing that I, and anyone under the age of 77, was not alive when that happened, it really doesn't bother me at all. As MGoShoe posted above the IM Building already covers part of that field.
The IM building was built on what was part of Ferry Field; what would have been the north-side stands, which were always just a grand-stand structure.
The IM building (1928) was a part of the historic backdrop when Jesse Owens set the world long jump record as in this picture:
So what makes the field so historic, the track and field part or the football stadium part? Because currently you are flipping back and forth.
If you care about football, then where the stands used to be is part of the field and that was already torn down and build over.
If you care about track and field, then I'm very sure that the plaque will stay up for all time and I would be just as upset as you if that plaque was taken down.
Someone can't appreciate both the football and track history?
Nothing that happened before you were born matters? Sound like my 6 year old daughter.
Did I say it didn't matter? No. I said it doesn't bother me. There is a large difference there.
I feel like as long as there is a plaque there I'm not going to be upset.
Hell, since none of were alive when the pyramids were built, lets knock those down! Great Wall of China, that too! Hell why not the Washington monument, I wasn't alive when that was built either. I spent 4 years as a Navy ROTC marching on Ferry Field, shame to see it go like this.
Egyptian antiquities when they built the high Aswan dam ...
Bo's kickers practice field goals just over the fence while marching, and I would have missed walking through the Grenada invasion protest on the diag in uniform on my way to South Ferry Field.
When you say that "Ferry field is arguably THE MOST historic place on campus" you mean south campus right? Perspective needs to be observed here.
The scene of most of our national championships in football. Where the old "Foot Ball Department" was born.
Actually, both of those statements are incorrect. Ferry Field was our third home football venue, after the Washtenaw County Fairgrounds (1883-92) and Regents Field (1893-1905), which is where the Point-a-Minute teams played. Ferry Field was our home from 1906-26, during which time we won only two of our 11 national championships (1918, 1923). It's still a historic venue, of course, but more for track than football.
Michigan Stadium has been the home of five of our national-championship teams (1932, 1933, 1947, 1948, 1997), which is more than any other home site.
I'm sure there will be some sort of a plaque or someting commemorating the site.
And yeah, in true Michigan style, there will probably be a new patch on somebody's uniform commemorating Ferry Field.
I should say -- I have been one of the posters who have been most eager to get Dave Brandon to build more parking lots for South Athletic Campus events. I'd be dishonest if I didn't admit that. And, by building the Davidson Center in the Blue Lot and by repurposing Blue Lot Parking for "Champions" level (suiteholder) parking, the Athletic Department has created a lot of parking demand, which was ridiculously high to begin with.
Interesting that they'll be paving over Ferry Field but leaving all of those hideous warehouse guildings that are along the railroad tracks near Michigan Stadium. I know they house most of the parking and transportation services buildings, the bus lot and repair facilities, and DPS headquarters, but thos buildings were there when Michigan Stadium opened in 1927, and having been in them on a few occasions, they don't look loke they've been renovated at all since then. If those could be turned into parking, that would create even more space than the old Ferry Field site will, plus the facilities thos buildings house could be relocated anywhere, even miles off campus. I guess it's a lot cheaper to pave over Ferry Field, but in the long term, tearing down the warehouses might be a better option.
I always felt they along with the railroad track were an unfortunate constraint on what could've been a beautifully integrated athletic campus
I do think that one part of the problem is that not all of that land is University-owned. But goshalmighty; get it purchased and renovated.
The railroad tracks are probably beyond any discussion of moving; I don't think that's ever been even close to being an option. Railroad easements are forever-kinds of things. The federal, state and municipal governments are sinking millions into the Stadium Blvd bridge over that easement (there is a bunch of complicated sewer, water, and telecom stuff going through the same patch).
And since the railroad tracks aren't moving anytime soon, wouldn't it be nice if they were actually used? Perhaps to move fans into town on games days from commuter lots outside of town. Maybe that's impractical but it's worth exploring.
Having slept many a night in various houses around the Elbel area, I can tell you those tracks are used. A lot. It's a major freight corridor. Heck, there was even a train that would routinely come through during MMB practice.
Put the train underground.
Realistic solution: relocate the Library Annexes (near the indoor Coliseum and MMB practice lot). While moving that massive collection would be a logistical nightmare, paving them over would provide expanded parking while limiting the amount of butthurt over our "history."
(I qualify that by saying: 1. I majored in History at Michigan, and have a deep appreciation for Ann Arbor landmarks 2. I generally approve of efforts to preserve historical landmarks 3. While Ferry Field is an important chapter in our history, I would wagersay it's not a "landmark" such that it cannot be repurposed and include elements/reminders of the past). For example, keeping the Ferry Field gate around (I think Schembechler Hall) was a nice nod to the past.
However, if we're bent on preserving Ferry Field and achieving more parking, then relocating the Library Annex to one of the many vacant areas on North Campus would make sense. The intra-library system at Michigan works just fine, and it would be a minor inconvenience in procurement time. The school wouldn't have to work too hard to bulldoze a few hangar-like warehouses, and they'd be easy to build (and update with the best preservaton & climate control technology).
Man, the new track complex is a long ways from central campus. They'll get their work out just getting there and back.
and understand what he did for the university, it saddens me to see his tribute go away. I hope the university finds another way to continue to honor a man who did so much for so long for Michigan.
Sadly, I think the era of naming buildings after great people that were apart of the sport the building is for it gone. It'll probably be all-donor named which is a damn shame.
Perhaps they could name the new arena Keen-Weber Arena.
- Wrestling head coach from 1925-26 - 1941-42, 1945-46 - 1969-70
- Football assistant coach from 1926-1930, 1932-1936, 1941-1958
- Wrestling head coach in 1944-45
- Football freshmen team/assistant coach from 1930-1958.
Those were some dedicated Michigan Men who don't get much credit.
Not to mention wrestling as a sport. Guy is a legend beyond Michigan.
I think they should at least make some kind of "mini -track" with some dedication to ferry field, and (gulp) the jesse owens plaque. Some kind of "monument park for the athletic department and for ferry field that could still be used for sprints, etc. I used to work out on the track all the time as a student.
They better not make the new outdoor track exclusive to athletes, like how they close off the stadium. Students should be able to enjoy all the open air facilities and at least have some kind of booked in advanced limited access to all the other facilities (besides obvious high demand zones).
I am shocked and I think that it is un-fucking-believable that they would destroy Ferry Field in favor of a surface parking lot. What the hell?
Given all of the space already dedicated to surface parking on the South Campus, why don't they go big and build some multi-level parking decks over those existing lots? Money never seems to be an issue for these long term projects (in fact, they could probably self-finance if they charge for the parking) and there is plenty of space.
Ferry Field may not be the highest use piece of real estate but it is historic as well as being a convenient running space for many students and locals. Let it be.
While I'm with you in thinking that all parking lots should be 6 story structures, this complex is going to be awesome. This is not a Brandon failure.
I agree with everyone that is kind of upset that ferry field being replaced with parking, but take a run on the outside lanes on the trackand you'll basically be scraping against the IM building. (Speaking of the IM Building, hopefully that gets a fucking renovation as well, I think the American flag out in the front still has 13 stars on it.) I hope they at least commerate in some way what was there with some kind of mini track and field, garden-esque zone.
We cant "preserve" every field any athlete has ever done anything on. This isn't Wrigley Field or Fenway Park. Yes its a cool thing but with no stands...this landmark for Michigan football was gone a long time ago folks. As in 1927.
Its not fun to see it go...but we're not paving over the grave of Bo Schembechler. Just an old venue that needs replaced
I have a feeling Yost would have said the same thing. Im pretty sure he was all for building Michigan Stadium.
I'm excited about the lacrosse upgrades. I really can't wait until M is competing for championships in lacrosse.
Kind of a head scratcher that it's going to be outside. The map of South Campus shows that Oosterbaan Field House most likely will be gone too. So where are they supposed to play in February and March when it's snowing?
I don't think Brady will be too pleased letting them play in the Glick.
Not sure what you're looking at. Oosterbaan still appears on the map right next to Schembechler Hall and the football practice field.
"Commemorative" parking space honoring that donor who most exemplifies the spirit of Jesse Owens and Fielding Yost parking their Model-T's. A donor who gives an extra $10,000 will be able to park in this, the only covered spot in the lot, designed like Yost's locker; i.e., a "spike on a wall," as Bo put it. In addition, the donor will receive a parking pass with a special patch on it with the logo "550-0."
What's that you say? International competitions? This is really going to help us recruit with the big dogs like MSU.
They recruit wookies for shotput.
I'll miss having a track to go run on. Ferry field was a convenient distance from the south campus housing area.
Regents Field was obviously not preserved because nobody really thought anything of saving anything back then. It stood where Schembechler Hall stands today though, so It's fitting that the team practices on the grounds that the Point-A-Minute teams rolled.
I just wish they would leave Ferry alone. It's the oldest athletic facility on campus.
Frankly, I just don't see the point of putting in a parking lot. Even with the athletic complex expanding, there is pleanty of parking for daily activities. During game times, there have always been a parking problem, so what's prompting this?
The site could be used as a local training facility for many other varsity or club sports.
It's just sad to see a historical place like this get paved over just so a few extra people don't have to hunt for parking.
I have a huge emotional attachment to Ferry Field, having known and seen the old original concrete stands on the south side of the old football field. It was like seeing the Coloseum in Rome for a young kid with a football in hand on a fall Saturday.
And I have a preferential attachment to the infield of the track, as the last remaining semi-public green space on just about the entire South Campus.
And it is really too bad to relocate our outdoor track from a genuinely historic place in that sport, to a place that virtually no central campus student will want to walk to.
But I gave this some thought over the weekend after my initial emotional reaction. It is unfortunately probably an imperative for Dave Brandon to do this. There could be and should be a monument to Ferry Field and its history. The old gates are already preserved next to Weidenbach.
We need the parking. Football parking is crummy in Ann Arbor. Only Madision, to my knowledge, is more strapped for good game-day parking. We need the parking for hockey, and for baseball and for general athletic campus utility. Victors Club members who have been dramatically downgraded in terms of parking priority by the Champions/Blue Lot reconfigurations should be getting better options, for all that they have been giving to the Athletic Department.
Just please, Mr. Brandon; make it a nice parking lot. This won't be a Target or Meijers. It will likely become a focal point for valued alumni and visitors attending all sorts of sporting events. If you could use it to generate some interest in baseball tailgating or (brrr) hockey tailgating, to benefit those sports, all the better. And please don't make it an excuse to build something else there after the asphalt is dry. You get a pass on this one just because the need for parking is so acute.