AD is not trying to get fans to attend the Spring Game (my opinion)

Submitted by HELLE on March 31st, 2014 at 9:39 PM
I think I have attended five of the last six Spring Games, and every year I think that the Athletic Department could do so much more. Dave Brandon is always talking about the "Wow Experience" but I've never seen that applied to the Spring Game. I was a huge fan of the locker room tour a few years ago. That was definitely a step in the right direction, but we haven't seen anything like it since. They could even rotate quick facility tours every year. I would love to see the basketball practice facility, Schembechler Hall or The Glick. I'd even settle for visiting some of the non revenue facilities. This would get more fans in the Big House in April.

Another issue I just noticed about this years Spring Game is the 2 pm start time. Check out the event schedule for Saturday.

• Victors Classic Alumni Flag Football Game (Michigan Stadium), Noon

• Mott Spring Football Game (Michigan Stadium), 2 p.m.

• Women's Tennis vs. Northwestern (Varsity Tennis Center), Noon

• Baseball vs. Minnesota (Wilpon Complex), 2 p.m.

• Softball vs. Ohio State (Wilpon Complex), 2 p.m.

• Men's Lacrosse vs. Fairfield (Michigan Stadium), 4:30 p.m.

A noon start could have increased attendance at baseball and softball. I don't get it. It's not really that big of a deal to me but it seems like a poor decision.



March 31st, 2014 at 9:46 PM ^

I don't have all the facts on this, but I believe there is a scheduled run/race (1 mile, and 5K) in the morning that both end up finishing in the Big House.  Not sure if the logistics of this has caused the time change of not.  Again, not sure if my info is correct, but heard about it.


March 31st, 2014 at 9:46 PM ^

Our fastpitch organization is going to the softball game and my family planned on attending the spring game first. The start time sucks.


March 31st, 2014 at 9:48 PM ^

We're not going this year for the same reasons. Been to many, the locker room tour, walking through the tunnel and on the field was outstanding! I need a bit more than cold weather and practice to travel the 10 hours from central PA. With my boys.

Wolverine Devotee

March 31st, 2014 at 10:03 PM ^

Okay, I'm still waiting for the part where DB doesn't want fans to spend money at Michigan Stadium?

I was hoping this was some kind of conspiracy theory thread.

Attendance for these spring games has never been great. Mostly due to the weather. The 1997 game had 4,000 people. Not 40,000. 4K.

This in part due to crap promoting and the thing not even being a real spring game. Go back and look at Michigan's Spring Game history. Since 1990, they've cancelled it four times, haven't kept score in 13 of them.

Very frustrating to say the least. Seeing as how every big time program has a spring game. Whether it be a true game or a crazy scoring system where 1st downs are 2 points etc. etc.

Bando Calrissian

March 31st, 2014 at 10:18 PM ^

Honestly, and I know this is probably an unpopular opinion, but the Spring Game has never been much of anything. People want it to be so much more than it can ever be, because football is football. It's always only been a glorified practice that is mindnumbingly boring, but people will pretty much clamor for anything that's football when it isn't football season. 

At the end of the day, no matter how much they try to dress it up with bells and whistles, let's be realistic. It's a no-frills, no-one-gets-hurt scrimmage almost five months removed from the season. It's not a game, it will never be a game, and it will never even remotely simulate what a real gameday is actually like. Between the spring game, media day, and Victors Club luncheons over the past 25 years or so, I've been to a zillion of these kinds of things. They've never shown anything, and they never will. It's time fans stop acting like it's anything more than a watered-down practice and getting indignant about the product the team is putting out there as a courtesy because Athletics wants to open up what would otherwise be a useful, closed-door event. And that includes getting into a dick-measuring contest with the SEC about spring game attendance.


April 1st, 2014 at 9:15 AM ^

It's not like Columbus is next to Key West.  If it was 80 there, it was at least high 70's in A2.

Look, if they can do it at Ohio State, they can do it at Michigan.  Essentially the same weather.  Also, Ohio State does not have any magic depth multiplier that we don't have.   They manage to have a Spring Game that looks like something without people getting hurt.

The "We can't have a Spring Game because our situation is unique" argument reminds me of the "We can't have a Night Game because our situation is unique" argument.  Turns out it wasn't true at all.

If the AD really wanted to do it, they could do it.   

Evil Empire

April 1st, 2014 at 9:54 AM ^

Giving it a better chance at good weather.  Two weeks later and a few hundred miles south can make a big difference.


I was at the 1997 spring game and it was about 50 and raining.  I did see Drew Henson there (he was a HS junior then).  In 1998 I wasted a bunch of time trying to get Scott Dreisbach's autograph and missed a chance to have my picture taken with a jersey-less but not shirtless Tom Brady.  Oy.


The fun part used to be going on the field after the game and tossing a ball around with my nieces and nephews.  They haven't allowed fans on the field since my own children were born, and the one time I took my daughter it was about 45 degrees (at least it wasn't raining).


It's just not worth it to go if they don't do anything fun for the fans.  It seemed to me that Lloyd hated the event, maybe because fans would analyze and report on the innovative offensive plays (ha) so the thing was cancelled moved indoors almost half the time he was coach.  Things haven't improved much over the past seven years.

True Blue Grit

April 1st, 2014 at 11:45 AM ^

if it is just a "glorified practice that is mindnumbingly boring" as you put it, why do they even open it to the public at all?  Why not just hold it at Glick behind closed doors.  It does seem that the athletic department does a half-assed job promoting it and making it into a real event - unlike a lot of other events they put on.  Whether it's because they feel it's too dependent on the weather or they feel they're obligated to put it on because it's been going on for so many years and people expect it, it's hard to say.  Personally, I DO feel there is real potential to make the spring game/practice/scrimmage into a more exciting event that would build more interest with the public.  And given the increasing challenge of filling all the seats at the games due to rising prices, I'd think the AD would seize this opportunity more aggressively.  Just my opinion.

Marley Nowell

March 31st, 2014 at 11:14 PM ^

I've given up on the Spring Game actually meaning anything.  I don't think we'll actually know anything about the team that we didn't know already until the end of Fall Practice.