Hey, MGofolks: Don’t let some hack SI writer get you down…
Just think of things we've had that no one else ever will. Stroll now down memory lane, if you care, for this week marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of perhaps the merriest and most glorious week in all of Ann Arbor party lore. [I know, I’m wading headlong into tl;dr territory.]
It begins on April fool’s, when Sean Higgins sends hoards of crazy, Hash Bashing kids into the streets to celebrate the Illini-hilation in the national semi-final game (OK, it isn’t anything near annihilation, but a win is a win when the stakes are win-or-go-home). Hello, Ann Arbor Police. Nothing to see here. Nope. We’re just dancing. Just happy to be here.
But the festivities are just getting revved up…
Two days later, Glenn Rice (doubtlessly cooler than April pool water), Loy Vaught , Terry Mills, Rumeal Robinson (OK… maybe Rumeal still has reason to be sad), Mark Hughes, Mike Griffin, and co. (Ooooooos!) top off our magical tournament run by snipping the twine in Seattle. Rose Bowl: Check. MBB National Champs: Check, check.
Meanwhile… Some shlub of an ex-Michigan coach sits next to his suitcase, drinking a cup of cold coffee somewhere near a town the size of Abilene.
But back in A-squared, those same crazy kids who caused such a ruckus a couple of nights ago (and whose numbers have grown to outrageous proportions) get started in on a night of stop-light-hanging-awning-crashing-Rick’s/Charley’s-mobbing mayhem at the corner of Church and South U. For the record (and since the statute of limitations renders me now free from prosecution), I can be seen dancing up on the overhang outside the ballet studio on the NW corner, and while my judgment is a bit clouded, my view of the revelry and riot cops is largely unobstructed. It also absolves me of any responsibility for that news van on its side over there. We pause to marvel at just how long our hoots and hollers echo into the drizzle and beer-soaked mist, eventually heading home at dawn to dream of errant hail-Mary jumpers at the buzzer.
But wait! As if that weren’t enough… or as if we need any more excuses to skip a day - or maybe a week - of classes, this little travelling band from the burning shores of California rolls in to town and sets up shop for a two night juke-joint rollick in the very space our round-ball heroes had just toiled all winter (to a third place Big Ten finish, one may note).
Those who are in attendance can attest: This space is hot! Part victory parade, part carnival, part bacchanal, the April 5th and 6th Crisler dates rank among the tightest Dead shows of the era. I, like many of my fellow pranksters, shake my bones through both long, crazy nights, hardly stopping to rest between them. I do, however, try to bang out a paper in the West Quad basement computing center at about 4am. Unfortunately for my GPA that semester, that little smiley-faced Mac guy won’t stop laughing at me. Paper’s late. Go figure.
As the magic bus pulls on to Stadium, we hear rumors of friends heading to Milwaukee to follow the band, but most of us can’t take five or six years to graduate, so we finally roll into bed for our first real sleep in five days. When we wake (some of us only just in time for Monday classes), we stop to wonder if we had ever been there at all.
I don’t know about you, but thinking back on it brings a smile (smile, smile) to the face of this sad Wolverine.
Anyone else care to share their own details from that week?
I haven't seen anyone make note of this, but the Crisler Arena page at mgoblue.com now lists a new Crisler capacity as a result of the recently completed renovation phase: 12,721. That's a reduction of 1,030 from the previous capacity figure. More sellouts to follow?
Here's how the capacity has changed over the years:
CAPACITY: 13,684 (1967); 13,609 (1968-91); 13,562 (1991-2001); 13,751 (2001-2011); 12,721 (2011-present)
One other note for anyone who might be coming into town for basketball games or other events: The demolition and reconstruction of the Stadium bridges starts tomorrow. E. Stadium Blvd. will be closed from Monday through late 2012 (including most, if not all, of the 2012 football season). State Street will also be closed for about two weeks where those bridges pass over it, from Monday through December 13. The official detours can be found here.
Mgoblue.com has a Crisler Arena construction update video featuring an interview with Damon Grosz, the arena manager. Nothing that earthshaking in the video (and there isn’t even a good look at the new seats), but Grosz confirms something that Section 1 had speculated about in a previous thread (Photos of New Seats at Crisler)—all the new seats, both upper and lower bowl, will be blue. And the walls that used be white have been painted blue as well. Grosz said the construction is scheduled to be finished by mid-August. Installation of the new scoreboard will begin “later in August.”
Michigan Basketball's Facebook page has a Crisler Arena construction update featuring several photos of the new seats that are being installed. They look like nice enough seats, but no cup holders?
Note also the new handrails:
This question stemmed from a short conversation I had with my mother (MSU alum) during graduation weekend. We were talking about Crisler Arena and she asked "who is that named after?" And I said a former football coach and athletic director. Then I thought, Yost is also another former football player and coach. I began to question, why are our basketball and hockey arenas named after football coaches? Shouldn't they be named after basketball and hockey legends?
So, MGoBlog Community, do you feel that our arenas should be given new names at any point at all? Yes, the amazing legacies of Fritz Crisler and Fielding Yost should not be forgotten, but they were known for football, not basketball and hockey. I propose 3 options to tackle this question:
1. Keep Crisler/Yost the same. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
2. Rename the arenas to Russell Arena/Tomjanovich Arena or Berenson Ice Arena, etc.
3. Compromise and do the trendy thing in college sports: Russell Court at Crisler Arena or Berenson Rink at Yost Ice Arena, what have you.
It would be very, very tough at this point to rename iconic buildings that have stood for many years, thus my vote would go for option 3 if we were to acknowledge a U-M basketball and hockey legend.
Another step in the right direction for the basketball team. Per MGoBlue.com (click for pics and article)
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The University of Michigan Board of Regents today (Thursday, May 19) approved the schematic design for the second phase of renovations and expansion to Crisler Arena.
The expansion will add approximately 63,000 gross square feet for new fan entrances, additional retail spaces and ticketing areas, as well as a private club space.
The renovation will improve seating for people with disabilities and provide expanded and renovated concourses to allow for an increase in restrooms, concessions and other fan amenities. All seats throughout the arena will be replaced.
Athletic resources and gifts will fund the $52 million project. The construction schedule for the second phase will be presented to the regents when approval is sought for the schematic design.
TMP Architecture, assisted by Sink Combs Dethlefs, will begin the design work immediately. Those firms designed the new $23.2 million Basketball Player Development Center, which is scheduled to be completed later this year.
In October 2010, the Board of Regents approved the first phase of the Crisler renovation at a cost of $20 million. This initial phase addresses the highest priority infrastructure needs such as repair of the roof, electrical, plumbing and air handling systems.
During the last decade, improvements to Crisler Arena have included renovations to the men's and women's locker rooms, new lighting and sound systems, installation of courtside seating and updates to the strength and conditioning areas.
Construction of Crisler Arena initially was completed in 1968.