Crisler Fanciness Detailed

Submitted by Brian on October 26th, 2011 at 10:40 AM

A reader was kind enough to forward along some artists renditions of what Crisler Arena looks like now and what it will look like once it gets the future created on it*. Virtually all of this is supposed to be done by the beginning of the 2012 basketball season, which, like, whoah.

Commence the envisioning!

First I was like…


…but then I was like:


And then I was like…


…but then I was like…


And then I was like…


…but then I was like:


Further shots of Crisler all gussied up and ready for serious, national-relevance-type basketball have been stored after the jump.

Jump with me, my pretties.









MVictors just noticed the verboten block M in the background of this shot. No more bars through the block M. Just M, they say. M and stars worthy of ten-forward on the ceiling.

Anyway. After this is done, Michigan will have a facility on par with anyone's, removing a significant hurdle between the program and slaying all comers with big pointy teeth and top-50 recruits.

That we have to do this now says something about pre-Martin ADs more than anything. Now that everyone's slagging on the guy because he was caught flatfooted on the football coaching search, it's worth noting that he's the guy who figured out football tickets were massively underpriced and fixed that in a way that had the federal government subsidize the athletic department, thus paving the way for the Michigan Stadium renovations and the revenue that allows M to do things like this and put enormous scoreboards everywhere.

I have no idea if I am sincere about that or not.

*["Create the future" here used in its positive, non-irony-laden sense. So I probably should have said something else. ]

**[Not without reason. He had an entire year between Lloyd telling him he wanted to retire and actually retiring, and after that year he didn't know if Tony Dungy wanted the job, that Mary Sue Coleman would stab him if he tried to hire Kirk Ferentz, or that Lloyd Carr would stab errybody up in here if Les Miles was even considered. Argh.]



October 26th, 2011 at 10:48 AM ^

This is so amazing. I think this will not only improve the experience of going to a bball game but will also help with recruiting.

Will someone make sure Mitch McGary sees this? 


October 26th, 2011 at 10:52 AM ^

is the M in the NE corner a waterfall or something?  it looks like that to me in the drawing.  though that could just be my crappy eyesight.


October 26th, 2011 at 10:54 AM ^

1. Is that an old DOOM level? Well done.

2. I also be like dang

3. My future solution to any ugly problems will be: Add glass and build a brick wall around the ugliness. Honestly, it works here

Naked Bootlegger

October 26th, 2011 at 11:00 AM ^

Agree with point #3 beyond my wildest expectations.   The Crisler facade looks amazingly good by hiding the hideous concrete pillars that served as the main exterior focal point for the past few decades.   I even cringed at Crisler's exterior 20+ years ago when I attended UM.  

The concourses are nicely refreshed and brightened.   So nice.

This is progress.   Progress is good.


October 26th, 2011 at 11:04 AM ^

I'm glad they're at least getting rid of the bubble-like oval on the roof, but I'd like to see less exposed aluminum on the roof. Not sure what the alternatives could be though.

El Jeffe

October 26th, 2011 at 12:57 PM ^

I prefer the old Crisler. Think about it: if this new fancy pants version had been around last year, Darius wouldn't have been able to tell Kalin to GTFO my court.

He would have had to say like "Please exit through the luxury boxes on the club-level concourse, just past the crystal double doors, keeping the waterfall on your left and Victors Victuals on your right. Have a nice day, and we hope to see you again real soon!"

Not as cool, IME.



October 26th, 2011 at 11:09 AM ^

Sorry if everyone is familiar with this, but I wanted to share. Crisler comes in for some well deserved criticism, but it should be noted that Dan Dworsky, the architect, is a legendary Michigan Man and I am happy that some of the original architectural details will be preserved on the exterior.

  • He was an All-American on Michigan's undefeated national championship teams in 1947 and 1948.
  • He dated Marilyn Monroe (not in the wiki, but I happen to know this is true.)
  • After a year in the AAFC, he turned down an offer from the Steelers and returned to Michigan to get his Masters in Architecture.

Crisler is outdated and a problematic public facility, but Mr. Dworsky deserves praise for being a great Michigan represantive on the field and in his field. 




October 26th, 2011 at 11:44 AM ^

is that it wasn't originally conceived and built as a single-purpose, basketball-only facility—it was designed to be a multi-event place, hosting everything from b-ball to musical concerts to closed-circuit TV events to winter graduation exercises, and god knows what else. When you have such a wide disparity of intended purposes, it's hardly surprising that it wasn't a good venue for basketball in particular.

• Attended the John Sinclair Freedom Rally in 1971. Apart from a few musical performances, undoubtedly the most boring event I've ever attended there.

• Saw the "Thrilla in Manila" on CCTV there in 1975, sitting on a rickety wooden folding chair on court level, watching Ali outlast and pummel Frazier.

• Took the GF there to see Earth Wind and Fire in 1977. At the start of the show, the band members descended to the stage, hanging from wires suspended from the ceiling. Up until 2002, there was a pretty impressive (for the day) list of musical acts that performed in that facility:

• Commencement exercises (Architecture School, 1978) featuring the stultifyingly dull Walter Mondale as speaker.

Other Chris

October 26th, 2011 at 11:50 AM ^

All women's gymnastics meets (including Big Ten championships and Regionals as they rotate around), men's gymnastics Big Ten's, and volleyball NCAA championship meets are things I can think of just off the top of my head.  I haven't been to a concert there since REM circa 1995-96, though. Oh, and the Pow Wow was there before the whole Michiguama business.


October 26th, 2011 at 4:35 PM ^

I also saw the Thrilla in Manila and E, W & F at Crisler as well.  As far as Mondale, he was uber boring at the commencement exercises that year (April 1978).  In fact, I fell asleep during his speech and the woman next to me had to poke me in the ribs when it came time to stand up for the actual graduation ceremony ! 


October 26th, 2011 at 11:15 AM ^

Those pics with the leafless trees and yellowing grass remind me that in Michigan winter is coming.

Can't say I miss that.

And now I feel like Ned Stark.

Except not dead.

Sorry for the SPOILERS.

dr eng1ish

October 26th, 2011 at 11:18 AM ^

Don't see the need for the current pics to be taken on a 1972 polaroid. Seriously, what's with the grainyness of those shots? Crisler looks like **** enough as it is, don't need to make it worse.


October 26th, 2011 at 11:22 AM ^

Couldn't they have just built a new bball arena for all the money they'll be pouring into this renovation?  It's not like Crisler is some college bball mecca that we need to save at all costs.

Other Chris

October 26th, 2011 at 11:52 AM ^

You can't tear Crisler down and then rebuild on the same spot. Takes way too much time. Other locations within that parking lot are likely problematic from the point of view of floodplains and abutments.  And structurally, there is really not much wrong with Crisler.  It's a good size, it's in generally good shape, and it is in a terrific location. 

So, hide the less-than-attractive exterior with some entranceways, which mean people don't have to wait outside in the cold and/or dark anymore, and renovate the concourses and it's much better without the much more significant undertaking of siting and building a new arena AND the problem of tearing down Crisler.