Next Stadium Expansion - The Latest News

Submitted by MichiganPhotoRod on August 19th, 2011 at 11:49 AM

Michigan Athletic Director David Brandon confirmed with me in a one-on-one interview on media day that a working design is ready for the next stadium expansion, which would start on the south end zone.

The specs include all-bleacher seating, which will rise up to enclose the spaces between the sideline structures to the scoreboard at a height that the scoreboard will appear as if it is "set into" the new seating area.

The design would also make the seating appear like a second deck, as a concourse will be included in the new construction below the new seating.  Brandon said the waiting list for season tickets supports the expansion.

He offered no thoughts on a how soon he would take this project to the Regents for approval.  He said the south end zone expansion would increase the stadium's capacity by 6,000.

This can only mean that a similar NORTH expansion would follow at another time in the future to balance the stadium's appearance from within the bowl.

With this updated information, one can reasonably conclude that including a north expansion of an additional 6,000 seats, we can project the capacity of Michigan Stadium will eventually increase to at or near 122,000 (and 1).




August 20th, 2011 at 7:34 AM ^

Now that there's HD in our collective living rooms, I don't know that there will ever be a 200k+ stadium anywhere in the world.

Glad to see that Brandon has something up his sleeve to ensure that we're always the largest crowd watching a football game in America.


August 20th, 2011 at 8:37 PM ^

you tailgate the golf course in 3D? Crush a 12 pack before the game in 3D while playing ladder golf?

Being an out-of-towner (Hamilton, ON) going to the actual game is only a part of the fan experience. The tailgate, the hotel the night before, and spending Saturday night in Ann Arbor all make it an experience that I could never get at home even if in 3D.


August 22nd, 2011 at 7:48 AM ^

Preaching to the wrong man, I drive in from Rochester, NY. I was addressing the trend that is going on nationally. More and more people like sitting on their ass and watching games on TV b/c it is easier.

Section 1

August 19th, 2011 at 3:09 PM ^

You are just over-estimating the number of rows.  By virtue of there being a concourse, the rows will start higher.  And the height of the scoreboard is not all that great.  I am not sure how many rows will be added; it won't be all that many.

One other thing.  In the hypothetical photoshop job (nice work, incidentally) it appears that the back of the new rows will be just scaffold-like.  And in fact, it is my vague undrstanding that it would be a grand, bricked-in concourse, just like the two new concourses.  With interior room for yet more infrastructure.  (Yay! More bathrooms.  Yay!  A gigantic M-Den.  Yay!  More party space.)

And one more thing:  I don't think this is about filling the overflow demand for Michigan football.  I'm not sure how much of that there is.

Rest assured; this is all about saying "Ours is bigger."  It is about bragging rights.  Being the biggest stadium of all.

Section 1

August 19th, 2011 at 3:31 PM ^

...would be to photoshop a 'cut' image of the East concourse into the North endzone, nad bent around the corners.  (And that is of course Phase II in any event.)  It would have that sort of volume to it.  At least, that is how the South Concourse (The Dave and Jan Brandon Family Concourse, naturally) will appear.  Anyway, nice effort once again.

Blue in Seattle

August 19th, 2011 at 3:42 PM ^

for each seat.  I would be nice to have true adult hip room for each section of bench.

I'm going to check the Bentley archive, but I think one of the expansions in the Bo era was just repainting the numbers on the benches to make each "seat" an inch narrower.

afterall, 5% more room would be 5000 less seats.  Plus keeping the wheel chair access portion in alignment costs space.

Do you think they'll put in a Daycare with Ballroom for people bringing their younger children who can't sit still for 3 hours +?

Hey maybe that's where the new wolverine mascot will be?!?  hey kids, stay here in the ballroom with Willie the Wolverine!  Now he's not a ferocious animal who is willing to fight bear and moose, he's cute and cuddly, just like Sparty.  See Sparty, sure he has a sword, but that's fake, just like the foam skin and muscles aren't real,

Whee!  yay for game day experience for toddlers!  glad we didn't leave them behind by keeping with tradition.


August 19th, 2011 at 12:06 PM ^

Is it just me or does this expansion kill any further expansion opportunities?  If they just continue to extend the bleacher seats out and engulf the new scoreboards w/o it being a 2nd deck, I can't foresee where/how they could expand further.


August 19th, 2011 at 12:49 PM ^

While Brandon stated the new expansion will appear as a second deck, I don't believe it will be as how we think of a traditional second deck.  I believe a true second deck could be placed above these new additions some day.  That we will leave for the next generation.  Today, a 122,000-seat stadium sounds rather nice.


August 19th, 2011 at 1:30 PM ^

I love that we're expanding because of our wait list for tickets and my brother-in-law has 8 tickets to USC's opener against Minnesota that he can't hardly give away.  It will only be harder next fall when they're competing for ticket sales with the LA Chargers.


August 19th, 2011 at 2:42 PM ^

You would think that the seats would not extend past line of sight areas near the new video boards as well as the suites. There will probably be some sort of facade to make it aesthetically pleasing. Also, the "upper deck" will probably be shallow and steeper to keep it closer to the field.

oriental andrew

August 19th, 2011 at 4:02 PM ^

Your rendering, while cool, is a bit off.  Most glaring thing is that the seats are set back from the scoreboard in the south endzone, but even with the scoreboard in the north endzone.  North endzone bleachers should be similarly set back.  Ditto the seats wrapping around to the concourses. 

And a minor note is that I'd guess the seats would angle away from the scoreboards to improve sightlines. 

All in all though nice job on the quick photoshop.  Definitely looks all the more imposing!


August 19th, 2011 at 12:08 PM ^

I don't think I like this idea. I dont mind the suites but I think further expansion should hold off for awhile. Unless, somehow this would lower ticket prices which I am sure it will not. Also parking and traffic are already terrible imagine adding another 3,000-4,000+ cars.

If they are wooried about getting tickets to people on the waiting list, something needs to be done about the people who buy tickets just to turn around and sell them and never actually attend a game.I have heard that the Redskins have strict penalities for season ticket holders that do this.


August 19th, 2011 at 3:30 PM ^

He wanted 150,000 seats, but didn't get it.  Stadium lore holds that he had footings put in to allow for 140-150K seats  - but keep in mind that people in the 1920s were smaller than they are now.   I personally think it's doubtful the stadium's capacity will exceed 120K.  Individual seats will be widened (they actually just were, but it's still a snug fit), and I wouldn't be surprised if the bleachers were eventually replaced with actual chairs someday.  There is also an incentive for the AD not to have too many available seats, to drive up demand.


August 19th, 2011 at 12:30 PM ^

They better make sure they don't have too many obstructed view seats like they did with the old press box.

...or they could just stick the visiting fans there so they can't see squat.


August 19th, 2011 at 1:14 PM ^

I had the pleasure of working on the stadium expansion for a couple years. while i was there i was told that the footings were put in place for expanded bleacher seating while the scoreboards were being prepped before last season. it was my understanding that both sides were ready for bleachers. it did not take long to replace the bleachers where the old press box stood, so i think they could expand north and south endzones simultaneously to avoid looking like the toilet bowl.


August 19th, 2011 at 3:35 PM ^

You notice it in Ohio Stadium not so much because one end is taller than the other, but because of the shape of the stadium - three-fourths of the stadium is curved and the other fourth is a straight line.  That's not what we're talking about here.

Don't forget that for a full decade (1998-2008), we had an asymmetric stadium, in which the east side had a "notch" because its rows didn't go up as high as in the rest of the stadium.  Fans hardly noticed.