December 14th, 2010 at 1:06 PM ^

It seems like we exaggerate our attendance a lot. I can remember rainy games against Eastern and the likes when the attendance on the scoreboard read well over 100,000 even with an empty student section.

But no matter what, we'll always have the most people watching a college football game anywhere in America today. 

Clarence Beeks

December 14th, 2010 at 2:26 PM ^

I probably does, just like everyone else's attendance exaggerates.  The accepted practice is to count tickets sold as attendance, not gate attendance.  That's why you get numbers like that for rainy cupcake games.  There is just no way that the actual attendance was that low, though, unless our attendance is always much, much lower than the reported total, which I don't believe.


December 14th, 2010 at 1:07 PM ^

does not include media personnel, players, concession workers, etc....Guinness is only counting spectators.

So this number will go up if you take those people into account or not


December 14th, 2010 at 2:28 PM ^

But I would think the attendance was closer to something like 100,000 based on what I saw in the stadium. There were a few empty areas here and there, but it had to be over that official number Guinness gave. Media personnel, players, concession workers, etc don't add up to 10-20K do they?

EDIT: I'm also curious as to if Guinness considered the spectators in the luxury boxes. I remember reading that they were doing a count based on pictures for a good basis of their number (along with other things?), but I don't recall hearing about spectators counted in luxury boxes. I'd be surprised if they missed something like that, though.


December 15th, 2010 at 4:59 AM ^

Attendance includes more than the tickets scanned at the gate.   It includes staff, the bands, etc.

They're in the stadium?  They're in attendance.   Most stadiums / venues do this sort of thing.

Having said that, 85K seems low, even on scanned tickets.  Do the people in the suites not have to have tickets scanned?


December 14th, 2010 at 1:08 PM ^

My section was not at all packed... In fact, most of the row behind us was empty and we were taking up well more than our little space alloted by the numbers on the bleachers.

85K sounds right.


December 14th, 2010 at 1:09 PM ^

I'm gonna say they took attendance from the pictures after all the frat guys left in the second and third periods.  I was in section 31, and that place got empty near the end.


December 14th, 2010 at 1:17 PM ^

The University announced an unofficial crowd of 113,411 during the third period. To better the GWR mark of 77,803 set at this year’s IIHF World Championships, however, it was necessary to provide scanned evidence of the bar codes on each spectator's ticket. At the time of the announcement, 85,451 tickets had been scanned, with the numbers continuing to increase, but more than enough to certify a new record

 While we still await final documention to award an official final number, the spectacle of the event can’t be denied


December 14th, 2010 at 1:54 PM ^

I guess another question is do all the extraneous 'spectators' (media, band members, zamboni drivers, fireworks crew, bomber pilots, etc.)  have some sort of scannable ticket?  Or are they just on a list that the university provides.  Which wouldn't be very easy for Guinness to certify...


December 14th, 2010 at 2:12 PM ^

But it was clear from an story from Dec. 11 that Guinness is planning to add some of those people to the count later. The media won't be included because Guinness doesn't consider them "spectators."

This was the explanation given for the difference between the Michigan and Guinness attendance figures:

The reason for the discrepancy comes because of Guinness counts differently than Michigan counts. The school counts players, media and others at the game to work. Guinness doesn’t count any of those people.

"It's a combination of scans with the barcodes on tickets," [Guinness representative Mike] Janela said, explaining how Guinness reaches its number. "It's not for tickets sold but for people who actually show up. People who weren’t ticketed, marching band for instance, or people who were given special passes."

Media and players, he said, do not count in the numbers because they are not actually spectators of the game.


December 14th, 2010 at 1:59 PM ^

Here's a link to the Guinness web site item noted above: Highest ice hockey game attendance

To echo what others have said here, that 85,451 figure is not going to be Guinness's final tally. They needed to come up with a figure during the game in order to certify the world record and make the presentation. The final number will come later and will include additional scanned tickets, plus other people in attendance who Guinness counts as spectators but who didn't have tickets--for example, marching band members and people who attended with special passes.


December 14th, 2010 at 1:18 PM ^

the north endzone was empty for much of the game, and chunks of the MSU section were empty until the end of the first period.

but the question in my mind is whether they counted people in the stands or counted tickets that were used at the gate. if the former, i bet it's super accurate. if the latter, it's gotta be low as some people come late and leave early.


December 14th, 2010 at 11:58 PM ^

the upper half of it was 75% empty for most of the first period. it seemed to fill in during the second but never the top few rows. i also noticed during the fireworks that the middle sections were ~80% empty all the way up, but that was probably because of smoke from the fireworks.

is that precise enough for you?

Mr. Robot

December 14th, 2010 at 1:20 PM ^

I don't buy that we had 113,411, but we definitely had more than 100,000. Most of the spots of the stadium that were empty at the end of the game did, at some point, have people in them. There were stragglers who showed up near the end of the 1st period, and then again a bunch of people who left after the second period because they were pretty sure we were going to win and don't actually care that much about hockey. No way that at least 110,000 didn't show up, have their ticket scanned, and go into the stadium for at least a period at some point.


December 14th, 2010 at 1:25 PM ^

We need to revise our own figure.  If Guiness's final figure is below 100K, we can't plausibly argue that a stadium record was set.  We did not have over 15,000 non-paying guests at the game.


December 14th, 2010 at 1:37 PM ^

There is absolutely no way the Big Chill was even at 100,000. I've been saying this all week to much negging, but the Michigan Athletic Department used several very underhanded methods for counting "attendance" including:

1. Forcibly giving away tickets to people who did not want or request them (and thus did not attend) but counting them as attendance since a ticket was "sold" for the price of $0.

2. Giving some individual students 2 tickets and counting their attendance twice.

Of course this post will get negged because it takes a negative view at a legitimate problem with the Michigan athletics department and the "feel good" story of the Big Chill, but the bottom line is that the AD completely scammed the system in order to accomplish its goal and its preposterous to think that the Big Chill had anywhere close to the attendance of almost any of the football games this season.

The bottom line is that the Big Chill was definitely a hockey attendance record, but if you believe the Big Chill had anywhere close to the attendance to break the Michigan Stadium attendance record I know a few Nigerian Princes with some business propositions for you.

EDIT: Agreeing with the poster above me. I was using "you" in the general sense, not specifically toward the poster above.


December 14th, 2010 at 1:39 PM ^

People weren't forcibly given tickets.

The default option on the student season ticket package included a Big Chill ticket.  Students could have changed this to zero if they didn't want it. 

Now, many students didn't realize this.  It was a combination of both the AD making the default option to be 1 Big Chill ticket (maybe a poor assumption, but whatever) and students reading very poorly.

As a result, people who thought 1 ticket was not included by default ordered another, thinking it was their first. 

There was a story about this a while ago and the AD acknowledged they did not make it as clear as they should have.  However, I had no trouble figuring out the purchase, and other students with common sense and reading ability should have been able to figure it out as well.


December 14th, 2010 at 1:49 PM ^

Inertia is a powerful influence. If the price of the Big Chill ticket is $0, and its already coming anyway, most people wont bother to uncheck it. It's the same reason why when opting into 401k became the default at many work places, the number of people who opted-in for a 401k drastically rose. Same logic, except the Big Chill free ticket is much less important than deciding a retirement plan so if anything the effect of inertia is much greater. I personally didn't uncheck the box and received a Big Chill ticket, which doesn't really bother me since getting free stuff is not a hassle. I just find it kind of low that the Michigan AD is now going to count me as "in attendance" for the Big Chill just because I had a free ticket.

With regard to the multiple ticket thing, I wasn't talking about buying a 2nd ticket because you didn't realize you already got one. I was talking about the fact that if one individual bought football season tickets and hockey season tickets, they got a Big Chill ticket in each season package. Thus, the school counted that one student as "two" in attendance without knowing whether the 2nd ticket would just go to waste on not (this assumes 100% of people with hockey season ticket packages were interested in attending, which isnt quite true due to illnesses or people out of town interviewing for jobs, etc.)


December 14th, 2010 at 1:30 PM ^

The thing people aren't considering is that while sections looked filled, it is far more likely that people gave themselves some extra space and were slightly more spread out than they would be if the section really was filled.

If there are normally 26 seats in a row, there might have only been 22 people in that row and you would not be able to tell the difference from a distance.

Those numbers quickly add up. 

I'd wager quite a bit that there weren't many people standing sideways at the game...


December 14th, 2010 at 1:50 PM ^

I have to agree with you.

Where I was sitting, some rows were completely packed (the row in fornt of me, someone couldn't fit into their sat, so they moved a couple of rows), and my row had 3-4 people missing, so we all spread out.  It was DEFINITELY not as squished as UCONN or MSU football games this year.


December 14th, 2010 at 2:51 PM ^

Depends on where you were sitting, a lot of people who had tickets in the end zone area walked over to the sideline view seats. I was row 60 15 yard line and we were all standing sideways. The number is probably somewhere in between the two but 85K sounds really low.


December 14th, 2010 at 5:25 PM ^

yeah, i had a lot of room when I was turned sideways in my seat in order stand and fit in....I'd wager there a fair amount of people standing sideways in the student sections, especially in the lower part. If you think students sit in their assigned seats then I have swampland to sell you. 


December 14th, 2010 at 6:14 PM ^

And if you think the student section was anywhere close to capacity, well... yeah.  The lower rows of the student section are always full.  The upper half (not 1/5 or few rows, half) was pretty roomy, which is not usually true.  I was able to stretch out with ease in row 40.  Not at all usually the case.

Regardless, I was referring to other sections.  The non-student sections were pretty sparse with only 15 minutes left before game time.  They're usually full by then.  I'm guessing many rows of those non-student sections had the appearence of being full when in reality people were just a bit spread out and gave the impression of it being full.

I don't really know why there's an argument.  Guiness counted the number of tickets scanned at 85K.  How can that be wrong?


December 14th, 2010 at 1:54 PM ^


The University announced an unofficial crowd of 113,411 during the third period. To better the GWR mark of 77,803 set at this year’s IIHF World Championships, however, it was necessary to provide scanned evidence of the bar codes on each spectator's ticket. At the time of the announcement, 85,451 tickets had been scanned, with the numbers continuing to increase, but more than enough to certify a new record.

While we still await final documention to award an official final number, the spectacle of the event can’t be denied.

85,451 is just how many scanned bar codes had been counted by the time of the on-field announcement, not the final certified number.


December 14th, 2010 at 2:11 PM ^

I think attendance peaked somewhere near the end of the first period/beginning of second. The north endzone was slow to fill up, but for a brief period of time it did appear full. There was definitely not 113,000 in the stands, but I think 85,000 was low. How are they going to account for people in the box seats if they use aerial photos?