Going to first game this weekend

Submitted by Moleskyn on October 24th, 2011 at 12:39 PM

So I just found out I have tickets to the game this weekend! This will be my first game at the Big House, and I feel like a little kid before Christmas! Since I've never been there before though, I would appreciate some advice, specifically:

  • I've heard the drumline puts on a pretty sweet performance before the game. Where do they do their thing and any ideas what time they start?
  • I've also heard the band does a pre-game thing. Any ideas where/when that takes place?
  • I'll be staying at a hotel in Belleville, where is my best bet to park (I don't mind having to walk a little bit to save some money)?
  • Anything else I won't want to miss?



October 24th, 2011 at 12:41 PM ^

Also will be attending my first football game at Michigan Stadium on Saturday. I feel the same way, I can't wait. I heard I got the tickets I wanted just a few hours ago.

Hardware Sushi

October 24th, 2011 at 12:57 PM ^

OOOO BURN. Haha that was good.

I have to say, Justingoblue, really surprised you've never been to a game before. You're really knowledgeable about the program but I see you've picked up a firestorm of points since joining last year.

Plus, I feel like you've asked me about my MGoBlog handle before (unless that's some other Justin), which would seem to indicate you're familiar with the campus area.

What's your deal, bro?


October 24th, 2011 at 1:04 PM ^

I don't remember asking you about your handle, but I do remember us having a conversation on the total utility of a playoff v lower bowls and comparing that to the utility brought on by a sixteen seed playing a one seed in the MBB tournament. Good times.

Yea, I've followed Michigan since I was a kid. Basically my moms entire generation went there (she went to Western, and had three brothers at Michigan) and I have family in Ann Arbor, so there are definitely ties there, and I grew up around it all. Not making it to a game has more to do with me living in Illinois growing up combined with playing hockey as a kid. I had to tape most games in order to see them since I'd invariably be at a rink on fall Saturdays. Now that I'm older I don't have that problem, so I'm hopefully making it to Ann Arbor for Purdue and Nebraska this year, and Illinois away. Gotta make up for lost time...


October 24th, 2011 at 12:58 PM ^

Nope, although profit and I attended the same school out east (Pitt), we're more than a few years apart.

I've been to an empty Michigan Stadium a bunch of times, an almost full one last winter (Big Chill) but never to a football game.

Edit: I'll ask my question here: how long should it take in the morning, 8:00 or so, to get from AA Saline and Ellsworth to campus? Specifically Hill and Oakland?


October 24th, 2011 at 12:44 PM ^

Drumline performs in front of Revelli Hall about 2 hours before the game, I'm not sure. The marching band practices early in the morning around 8 if you want to go watch. You also don't want to miss the band step-off to the stadium.


October 24th, 2011 at 12:48 PM ^

The band pre-game thing starts at Revelli hall on Hoover Street at Division. They then march to the stadium ~ one hour before the game. 

Doi you plan on tailgating? If so hit up the golf course or get to a corner in one of the parking garages (Personally like the Bschool lot off of Hill)

Because it is homecoming, don't miss the Mudbowl at Washtenaw and South U. 

Enjoy yourself! it's a good time!


October 24th, 2011 at 1:45 PM ^

I don't know if we'll be doing any tailgating. We'll be coming in from out of town and will be driving home after the game, so I'm thinking it won't be in my best interest to drink a lot before the game. And I don't want to mooch off of everybody's tailgates. We might go check out the scene at the golf course though, just to say we saw it.



October 24th, 2011 at 12:49 PM ^

Parking: If you want to park cheap and don't mind a little walking I would go east of the stadium across the bridge. There is a guy down there by the stoplight that charges $20 to park at his house/business. He wants you to tailgate and seemed very friendly. If you want the big tailgating party park at Pioneer. Have fun, get there early and take it all in. This year was my first game at the Big House too and I was just speechless.


October 24th, 2011 at 1:05 PM ^

We got there at 9 or 9:30. As Brian put on his food and beverage in AA post hit up Angellos too. deep fried french toast hit the spot, got there about 8 and when we were leaving a nice line had formed.


October 24th, 2011 at 1:12 PM ^

If you're willing to walk a bit further, you can park for free on the sidestreets north of Stadium and east of Packard.  Except for big games, I can usually find a spot within a block or two of Packard so long as I arrive by 10:30 or so.


October 24th, 2011 at 12:53 PM ^

In terms of parking, I usually get off at state street then head north. There will be stuff all along the street. I try to get as close as I can with the parking lots that only charge $10, but that's kind of hard to do. Really any place along State street or any of those side streets will be fine for walking distance. Industrial is also really good. Get off at State, turn right on Eisenhower, then left on Industrial. Then you just walk up Industrial to Stadium and take that to the Stadium.


October 24th, 2011 at 12:55 PM ^

At the front steps of the stadium (near Chrisler and the parking lot) you can go see the players head into the stadium.  I've caught it a couple times walking to tailgates at the golfcourse, and it's pretty cool to see the coaches and players up close.  But, I'm not exactly sure when it is, as the two times I've been there were just flukes. 


October 24th, 2011 at 12:56 PM ^

  • Drumline does their thing at the end of the 1st quarter in the northwest corner of the field (in front of student section).  They're pretty good.  Pre-game, I have no idea if they do a show, but they're probably with the rest of the MMB at....
  • Elbel Field.  Corner of Hill and Division. About 5 minutes walk from Michigan Stadium.  It's Homecoming this weekend, so the Alumni Band should be part of the pre-game as well.  I think the pre-game show starts about 2 - 1.5 hours before kickoff.
  • The answer to your parking question depends on what your pre-game plans are.  You can park on the street for free in any of the residential areas west of the Stadium if you get into town early enough (2.5 hours before kickoff at least).  If you plan on tailgating, then there are numerous spots (UM Golf Course, Pioneer HS most prominent) for that ranging in price from $15 - $40 per vehicle.  You can also park in any of the multi-deck garages around campus for a modest hourly fee (~$10-$15 for the afternoon) and you have the added benefit of having some bars and restaurants where you can park yourself before kickoff.
  • Stay in your seat for the halftime show.  It's Homecoming and they do all the old mainstays, "Temptation", "The Hawaiian War Chant", "Varsity".  It's traditional Michigan bandplay at it's best.


October 24th, 2011 at 1:02 PM ^

I've been attending all home games and at least one away game each year since 1989.  I can give you a few pointers:


  • If you get into your seats while the band is on the field they're going to play "The Yellow and the Blue".  This is not a mistake.  That is the name of the song (not maize) and the only word you need to remember is "HAIL"....it's the only one everybody sings.
  • When the team runs out and takes the field they're going to run under the banner.  Watch closely to see if anybody gets "hung up" on the banner if they jump too high.  Good test for pre-game motivation.
  • If you have to pee - go with about 2 minutes to go in the quarter.  You'll cut down on the line and you won't miss much.  Also, the bathroom has urinals on the opposite side of where you enter so keep moving - those are usually empty.
  • You're better to eat hearty at your tailgate before the game than to try and eat inside the stadium.  Food isnt real special by any means unless you really, really like hot dogs.
  • You'll hear "down in front" if you're excited (like me) and stand when you cheer.  You can ignore these requests UNLESS you're the only guy up and no one is standing in front of you.  Then it's not cool to stand.
  • Always pump your fist to sky when singing "The Victors" when the word "hail" is sung.
  • Third down stops gets a little something, something from the band.  The only word you need to remember is "you suck".
  • When we win (and we will probably win) chant "It's great to-be-a Mich-I-GAN Wol-Ver-Rine" over and over again as you leave.  High five strangers.  Hugs optional but encouraged if close game win (like ND this year)

Probably more but that'll get you started.  Have a blast! 

See you there.


October 24th, 2011 at 10:17 PM ^

Sounds good....

But don't chant "It's great to be..."  That cheer has a special place in my heart because it is reserved for big, monumental games or rivalry games.  Purdue is neither.

However, on the other hand there is a very, very high chance you'll get to experience the best wave in the world.  Unless the order has been altered this year (I know there was confusion the last two years thanks to the whole "barely winning in blowouts " thing...), you do a lap at normal wave speed, then the student section will slow down the wave and you get to experience the slow motion wave.  After a lap the student section will zip a fast motion wave around.  After that lap the student section will "split" the wave resulting in two waves going at once in the opposite directions.  This is epic no matter how many times you experience it.

Only the student section may start the wave.  If someone else does the student section will rightly ignore it.  It is reserved for when the game is in hand and we can all afford to divert attention away from the field.

Hardware Sushi

October 24th, 2011 at 1:15 PM ^

Since other posters have answered your questions, these are a few of my favorites since graduation:

  • Taking in Hoover St. about 30 minutes to an hour before gametime. As a freshman living in Fletcher Hall (who even knows about that place?), I started my own tradition of people-watching the massive, seemingly undending mass moving in Maize and Blue down Hoover. Living at State and Hoover senior year capped it off. Just grab a case at Campus Corner and enjoy some beers on the private property side of the sidewalk (Cannot stress this enough - you can/likely will get an open container for simply drinking on the sidewalk two feet in front of someone's yard).
  • Walk down a random fairway or two on the golf course. Most tailgaters are friendly and will offer you a beer, a taste of the best (Insert Food Here) you've ever had, and give you their favorite gameday traditions. Bring a case or bottle to pass as a gracious guest.
  • Depending on how much you've seen campus on non-gamedays, you should at least make it to the Diag and past the Union if you haven't seen them before.
  • Get food after the game at a local place. I always enjoyed wings at Spot's or pizza at Bell's, both on opposite corners of Packard and State.

Most importantly, get there early! You don't want to waste your first trip sitting in the car in traffic looking at the fun.


October 24th, 2011 at 1:25 PM ^

As always if you two first-timers do decide to tailgate you can join us.  My crew, who does the "Jager Yearbook"( which is what our event is named on facebook), will be on the east side of the golf course off State St.  Come on by for a few shots and some beer pong if you'd like.  This goes for anyone in our vicinity that reads this.  Just look for the Jager flag flapping in the wind 20 Ft. up.


November 23rd, 2011 at 12:19 AM ^

It'll be my first trip to the Big House and I'm super pumped! I'm trying to figure out my plans prior to the game as in drumline, tailgating, etc... I may just have to swing by the Jager flag and grab a shot with you gentlemen!! Go Blue, Beat Ohio!!


October 24th, 2011 at 1:32 PM ^

I took my 10-year old daughter for her first game a few weeks ago.  As posted previously, the drumline starts about two hours before gametime at Revelli Hall.  We were late getting there, and there was a huge circle formed around the venue (10 deep) of M fans.  But I figured out that people don't realize you can sit on the steps off to the side of the center steps.  We ended up getting prime seats just as the show began.

GREAT way to begin the day.  It is loud though.  If you have sensitive ears, bring ear plugs.

Naked Bootlegger

October 24th, 2011 at 1:45 PM ^

If you plan on tailgating, keep an eye on the forecast.   If you don't have an RV or mega-portable tent, then the parking garages near campus offer good protection from the elements.   Otherwise, I really like the golf course tailgate vibe.   FYI...I think the driving range offers slightly cheaper parking than the golf course itself.

As of today, the forecast is sunny, upper 40's/low 50's (subject to change, of course..it's late October in Michigan!), so tailgating will be brisk, but dry.   A potentially great day for football.

I'm traveling from Wisconsin to see this game.   First game for my kids, so I'm very excited.   Pre-game band is a must, although I must temper my expectations for an 8-year old liking everything and not getting antsy.   I'm also thinking of smuggling a catheter into the stadium so we don't have to leave our seats for the inevitable bathroom break while Denard busts a long run (/s for all of you social services trolls!).

Philip A. Duey

October 24th, 2011 at 1:57 PM ^

After you get done listening to the band and drumline, you can also walk around down the Blue lot on the east side of the Stadium, check out the tailgate scene.  Moreover, there'll be a small group from the University of Michigan Men's Glee Club (and probably also the UM Women's Glee Club) that goes around singing M songs like Varsity and the Victors, in addition to several others from the University's history that 95% of this board have probably never heard of.  Your best bet to see them and hear a little old-school Go Blue cheer would be either on Elbel Field (right across from Revelli Hall across Hoover St.) at about 9-9:30 am, somewhere in the Blue Lot, at Pioneer, or on the golf course between 9:30 and 11:00a, or, best of all, at the Michigan Tailgate Radio show at Pioneer at about 11:00am.

Make sure you get into the stadium early enough to explore a little bit.  The new concourses give an excellent vista over the tailgate scene.

After the game, the bars/restaurants will be packed to the gills.  If you're absolutely starving immediately afterward, State St.  (including the Union) and the South University areas will probably be the quickest option because they are more the fast food type places that cater to students.  I would certainly recommend the Five Guys on State St.  Pricey, but you get a TON of french fries with a quality burger, and some excellent classic rock/oldies on the radio 24/7.

My first Big House game was the emergence of Steve Breaston against Central in the 2003 opener.  The first game as a student was The Horror.  Hopefully your experience will turn out more like the former than the latter! 

Mayor Blue

October 24th, 2011 at 2:10 PM ^

The week I bring my 2 daughters to their first game. With their athletic schedule its hard to find a weekend. I haven't been to a game in about five years so getting to Pioneer my 8AM shouldn't be a problem with traffic? Thanks and Go Blue.

Monocle Smile

October 24th, 2011 at 2:17 PM ^

I am a drumline alum, and stepshow takes place in front of Revelli Hall an hour and a half before kickoff. Get there early or you will have a bunch of people obscuring your view. Or bring a ladder and be That Guy.

The band steps off a few minutes after stepshow. But be conscious of your surroundings, as you will be ushered away from the hall by badass-looking people in suits to make room for the band.


October 24th, 2011 at 3:02 PM ^

I got my brother an Ohio State ticket validated two years ago for about $40.  It varies a little bit from game to game I think, but it's probably around $30-$40.  You also want to make sure to have a student validate it (as you need an ID to get it validated), or else you'll be stuck without a ticket you can get in with.