Michigan Stadium Construction Tour

Submitted by Tim on August 26th, 2009 at 6:09 PM

Brian and I toured Michigan Stadium with assorted members of the media, and all we got was this stupid t-shirt photo gallery:

Also, we got some details:

  • Both the suites and the club seating are reserved to about 70% capacity.
  • The suite have their own indoor concourse with air conditioning. The suites themselves are also air conditioned.
  • The new press box will have seating for 224 reporters.
  • Michigan Stadium was down to 106,201 seats last year (from 107,501), making it the second-highest capacity stadium in the country (though more people strolled through its gates than #1, Penn State's Beaver Stadium). When the new structures are complete for the 2010 season, capacity will be around 110,000.
  • Over the next few years, the aisles will be widened in phases. Final capacity of just greater than 108,000 will be reached in about the 2013 season.

Comments

jamiemac

August 26th, 2009 at 7:53 PM ^

Wait a sec, you dont have a press pass yet? Did they deny you one?

I swear I heard Madej, in an interview back in the spring when asked about blogger access, say he was up for it. In fact, I'm pretty sure he spoke directly about Brian and this blog and said a press pass is there for you if you wanted one. It was WTKA. Probably something linked from here.

Brian, I know you've articulated your reasons for not going the traditional press pass route. I respect that. But, your comment to FA leaves me thinking you pursued this and somehow got turned down.

That would suck. Especially in light of Madej's on-the-record comments from months ago.

PaulVB

August 26th, 2009 at 8:14 PM ^

You tell 'em. His e-mail can be found in the directory, but I would just like everyone to know, Madej has been incredibly helpful and still has my utmost respect. Any correspondence with the Athletic Department should reflect that.

genericmichiganfan

August 26th, 2009 at 11:23 PM ^

I'm really surprised they haven't given a press pass to you guys yet. Back in 2006 I got one for the CMU game (the one that was delayed because of bad weather; good day to be in the press box), and I was beyond lucky. My blog was only around for 6 months or so, and I was only 16 at the time. Right on the credential it says you have to be 18, so I lucked out (especially since they checked my license). With the traffic mgoblog has and it's reach in general, I don't see why they would not give you one.

genericmichiganfan

August 26th, 2009 at 11:24 PM ^

For all the seats we're going to lose, how much of a difference is the widening really going to make? I can see making the aisles bigger, but the seats are only supposed to be widened an inch or so. If you can't fit in them already, an inch isn't going to change much.

hokiewolf

August 26th, 2009 at 8:32 PM ^

I've watched one game from the indoor club seating at Lane Stadium (which just finished their renovation in 2006, with some very similar layouts), and it was disappointing. The private restrooms and concession stand were nice, but the game-watching experience was odd. The glass wall seals out the sound of the game, and they pipe in either the stadium announcer or the TV broadcast. There's no crowd noise; the only thing you can hear are the other 200 people in the club seats, and most of them are muttering blue-hairs. There's no real cheering inside, just the occasional yell that sounds out of place, and some scattered polite applause.

I've been offered club seats several times for free since then, and turned them down.

MH20

August 26th, 2009 at 9:13 PM ^

Even if I could afford club seats, you wouldn't find me anywhere near them.

I want to roast in the early September sun, shiver in the late October breezes, and freeze my ass off in the late November snow/sleet/hail with everyone else.

Because at the end of the day, that is how football is meant to be enjoyed.

hokiewolf

August 26th, 2009 at 10:21 PM ^

Even in the club seats? I read the UM premium seating brochure, and it really does look just like the set-up at Lane. The boxes have windows that open, but the club seats are behind a fixed glass wall.

Here's a slideshow of Lane just before it re-opened. This particular pic is a good one of the club seats.
http://www.techsideline.com/lane/pics/2006/20060601/album/slides/100_29…

Bryan

August 26th, 2009 at 9:44 PM ^

Since I completely agree, you receive a +1. I was in the skyboxes about a month ago and, for me at least, felt very cut off from the rest of the stadium. Even with the windows that open, it just isn't the same. I would take a ticket anywhere else in the stadium before one of the suites.

My best experiences in Michigan Stadium have been with crowd, whether it be MSU '04 or even Northwestern last november. College football is about sweating, freezing, cheering and swearing with 111,000 of your closest friends, and you would loose it all sitting in a seat that has a back.

Amazin-Blue

August 27th, 2009 at 10:33 AM ^

Plus, the added height of these seats above the stadium floor makes it even less of an experience. I've been in several stadiums for away games and usually get stuck up in the rafters of the upper deck.

Our seats at the Big House are simply orgasmic in comparison.

Craig

August 27th, 2009 at 11:13 AM ^

So the total number of seats will be greater, but for me and most everyone else without six digit salaries, there will really be less seats! On the other hand, the lux-boxes will move some of the blue hairs out of the bowl and open up their old seats. hummmm.... I wonder how that will pan out when it comes to ticket availability.

Needs

August 27th, 2009 at 11:23 AM ^

I think the "moving the blue hair" factor of the boxes is wildly overrated. Are long-time ticket-holding older alumni (whom I assume most are talking about when they bring this up) really going to plunk down $65k to $85k when they have acceptable seats already? The boxes are going to be primarily corporate patrons.

UMxWolverines

August 27th, 2009 at 12:02 PM ^

i love how most of the renovations are comming, i just don't want them to widen seats. why do they have to widen seats? 1/2 a freaking inch won't make a bit of difference, and the stadium loses 2,000 seats! plus i heard texas a&m might renovate their stadium to fit 110,00 in the next few years.

edit: kyle field may go up to 115,000! we can't be beat!