August 20th, 2009 at 1:42 PM ^

Yeah, I think Bill Martin mentioned this a while ago... it would require taking up the first few rows of the stands. I'm assuming putting either risers on the field or filling it with something. Sounds like it would be awful to clean up afterward. I'm not a huge soccer fan, but I'd jump at the chance to watch a World Cup game in the Big House.


August 20th, 2009 at 1:41 PM ^

I would be very excited if the world cup came to Ann Arbor and would got to the game, if possible. However, aren't there limitations concerning the size of the field? Soccer fields are wider than football fields, and the Big House field is surrounded by a brick wall...

Also, I was happy to notice that the horseshoe didn't make the cut.

I Blue Myself

August 20th, 2009 at 1:55 PM ^

I was happy to notice that the horseshoe didn't make the cut.

Agreed. It looks like they cut all the college stadiums except the Big House (and arguably the LA Coliseum and Rose Bowl, although I don't consider those purely college stadiums).

The Big House must have stood out from the rest, presumably because of its size. Although if they raised the field and took away the first few rows of seats, it would have to lower the stadium's capacity.


August 20th, 2009 at 1:46 PM ^

In addition to the required field width (which I believe is at least 75 meters) FIFA also requires stadiums to be "all seaters" to avoid crush situations.

OMG Shirtless

August 20th, 2009 at 2:13 PM ^

Does "All Seaters" really mean seats with backs? I guess I can understand why, its much easier to force your way forward with bleachers than seats with backs. I thought when I first heard about that rule it just meant that you couldn't have those caged crazy standing room areas anymore.


August 20th, 2009 at 2:20 PM ^

That seems to be the way it's been interpreted in Europe. After FIFA issued the directive, all the grounds in England installed stands with individual seats -- replacing the crazy "Let's put 40,000 drunken people in a series of large fenced pens" system that existed. I don't think any use bleachers, but I could be wrong.

Every now and then you'll see crowd violence situations where folks are ripping up the seats and throwing them.


August 20th, 2009 at 3:46 PM ^

Are you sure it is a FIFA requirement to have seat-backs on all seats, or is that just an EPL regulation taking it to it's logical extreme after the Hillborough 96? I'm not positive, but I can't imagine that all of those stadiums they used in South Africa for the Confed Cup had 100% seat-backs.

I think (again, not sure) what the FIFA regulation prohibits is general standing room only sections i.e. no seats whatsoever - just a bunch of people crammed together in a confined area (as other commenters have mentioned) - which was of course determined to be a major factor of the aforementioned tragedy.

My feeling is that M stadium is okay. After all, why would it make the cut if it was obvious that the seating arrangement would disqualify it?


August 20th, 2009 at 3:58 PM ^

You might be correct. Looking at the FIFA regulations for SA, it appears that they only require numbered seats.…

However, looking at the pics of the stadia for 2010, it looks like all of them have seat backs. It's probably negotiable, though.

Here's FIFA's technical guidelines for world cup stadium selection (warning, very long pdf). The biggest sticking point looks to be the 85 meter width of playing surface, ad boards and auxiliary area FIFA wants (on p. 62 for those interested). That can probably be cut down a bit (and there can only be a few stadia in the US that have that kind of width), but the Big House can't be much wider than 65 meters.…


August 20th, 2009 at 1:54 PM ^

By the time the US hosts the WC it'll be at least 24 years in between events, I don't think that'd be a big consideration. That'd mean also putting Chicago, LA, NYC, DC, Boston, SF, and Dallas at the bottom of the list too.

We just have to hope Chicago and Cleveland aren't both high on the list, because I don't think they'd go for three in the Midwest like that.

Personally I don't care whether the Big House or Ford Field gets the games, I just want to see them in Michigan.


August 20th, 2009 at 2:05 PM ^

Nine cities hosted the World Cup in 1994. It's possible the region will get snubbed (it was the only one to not host a second-round game last time, which suggests that it may have been down on the pecking order), but there aren't that many other cities with viable facilities out there.


August 20th, 2009 at 2:38 PM ^

to ever come to Ann Arbor. How awesome would that be for our economy and for the University in General; recruiting especially. Instead of saying - hey do you want to come to the EMU game you could say - hey do you want to come to the EMU game and maybe the World Cup this summer (or whenever it is played). Usually big things like this end up in Detroit. I for one would love it - on top of that Ann Arbor already has a large diverse community, I'm sure a lot of people from other countries would love for it to be here.


August 20th, 2009 at 2:57 PM ^

It's wrong to look at it as Ann Arbor vs Detroit in this context. For one, if Michigan Stadium won out most of the people coming to town for the games would still stay in Metro Detroit where hotel space is more abundant. Also, keep in mind that by the time this rolls around a commuter rail will be in place (hopefully) that will lead to a much easier path from Detroit to Ann Arbor. Southeast Michigan is fast becoming something of a large metroplex with a more regional focus then one just on the larger cities... any event of this magnitude coming to either AA or the D will have only positive effects for both.


August 20th, 2009 at 3:03 PM ^

when people say Detroit and mean Ann Arbor. I was watching College Football live on ESPN one day and they zoomed in on Michigan and said "reporting from Detroit" then they were at a Michigan practice or something. As a side note - I didn't think the commuter line was going to connect with Ann Arbor?


August 20th, 2009 at 3:08 PM ^

I sort of agree and disagree. I mean, aren't we all guilty of saying things like "Oh Anaheim is just LA"? I can't fault the national media for making the same assumptions in Michigan, and to be honest I do see Ann Arbor as more suburban than I think most do (most of the townies have significant Metro Detroit ties).

The commuter line will run Ann Arbor-Ypsi-Airport-The Henry Ford-Dearborn-Detroit... where it hopefully would intersect the proposed Woodward light rail.


August 21st, 2009 at 11:53 AM ^

But also remember in the summer there a lot of empty student houses around Ann Arbor, extremely close to the stadium. If someone is coming for the group play which takes 2 weeks I think, I'm sure they could find some undergrads enterprising enough to offer short term leases.


August 21st, 2009 at 12:49 PM ^

We're talking about people coming from all over the globe, pouring craploads of money into travel and tickets. I'm going to go out on a limb and say leasing out some undergrad's room is going to be less appealing than the Westin at Metro Airport.