We wont be under 100,000, officially

Submitted by Wado on October 15th, 2009 at 12:29 PM

For those who are concerned and unaware, we do count attendance by sales. This is straight from Marty Bodnar, Director of Ticketing/Marketing, to whom I sent a (now) embarrassingly long email about saving the 100k attendance.

"Our announced attendance is based upon tickets sold. Since we are close to a sell out of this game, we are not in danger of dropping below 100,000. Thank you for your concern. Go Blue!"

So that's... a relief? I guess I wished we counted scanned tickets, though this has to be a lot easier to measure.



October 15th, 2009 at 12:37 PM ^

And the bands, and the team support staff, and the guys who make sure that you sit in your section and hunt you down if you try to sneak in, and the guys working concessions, and the people scanning your tickets at the entrance....you get the point.

I wasn't worried so much that announced attendance would be below 100,000, but more that the student section would be more deserted than it's been in a long time. Discounting NU last year.

I wonder what attendance has been for fall break weekends past. Last year it was an away game, and that seems to make much more sense than having a FCS team on this weekend. It's probably the Big Ten's fault for scheduling us a bye during that week.


October 15th, 2009 at 1:02 PM ^

It used to be turnstile count (even the refs, press, ushers, teams entered through them). This was culled from a former M Stadium worker in media relations back when I was a student. There was a piece we did on it for the Daily about 15 years ago.

Bando Calrissian

October 15th, 2009 at 1:06 PM ^

There have been certainly been instances in the past 20-25 years where 100k in the Stadium at any point in time was certainly debatable. Minnesota '88, Purdue '95...

Paid attendance is what they really keep track of, but whether or not that means there are 100k in the Stadium is another thing altogether. There are plenty of hockey games at Yost with "attendance" of 6000+, too...

Ty Butterfield

October 15th, 2009 at 1:11 PM ^

I was at a home game in 1995 vs Purdue. The weather was AWFUL. It started out freezing rain, then sleet, then snow. It was the worst weather I have ever experienced at a game. That was when Michigan still had a grass field and it was in shambles. No one could keep their footing and it was basically all mud. IIRC, Michigan won 5-3. I HIGHLY doubt there was a 100,000 people there. However, like someone said they actually count tickets sold. So it is what it is.

edit: Bando beat me in mentioning the 95 Purdue game


October 15th, 2009 at 1:56 PM ^

...to those who went to the Purdue game. A friend and I had our tickets in our hands, walked out my door, and directly across the street from my house to a party store, where we bought beer and went back inside. There was no way I was going to sit through that for Purdue. OSU would have been no problem, though.

The FannMan

October 15th, 2009 at 2:29 PM ^

No doubt the worst weather at a game. Not even close, way worse that Northwestern '08. I also recall that there was no way 100,000 peolpe were in that game. However, who am I to argue with the official attendance folks?

IIRC, Michigan won that game because we kicked off twice. We won the toss and deferred, and Purdue took the ball. The field and weather meant no one could move the ball or punt effectively. At the start of the second half, we elected to kick again. This effectively penned Purdue on their side of the field and we basically slogged around and killed the clock.


October 15th, 2009 at 2:29 PM ^

In those rules it says student tickets may only be counted if the tickets cost at least 1/3 of the highest price in the stadium, or the ticket is used.
On a week like this, alot of student tickets will not be used. This isn't a problem for us because the student tickets are about half of regular tickets. However, when the boxes go up, I have to imagine that tickets will cost more than $75, meaning our empty student section won't count anymore.
Unless the AD has figured out how to rig those tickets to cost next to nothing officially, somebody is going to have to think about this.


October 15th, 2009 at 2:00 PM ^

Northwestern 2006 may have started higher, but after half time there could not have been more than 60,000 left. It was pretty funny when they announced a game attendance of 100,000+.


October 15th, 2009 at 2:15 PM ^

What actually happens is during the Second Quarter, one member of the ticket staff, info not disclosed, walks to the last row and stares down the bowl at the entire stadium.

He/She then like Punxsutawney Phil they annouce into their walkie a number greater than 102,001 and no more than 115,001.

Then you have your attendance. Works like a charm. This person takes into consideration weather, opponent, and the intangibles.


October 15th, 2009 at 2:53 PM ^

That's as cold as I have ever been for a game. Wet, windy, and miserable. We had four tickets, 2 per married couple. The 2 wives said NFW and went to a bar. The other guy and me enjoyed the extra space on the bleachers, but by the second half we were sharing a single plastic tarp to avoid hypothermia. Good times!


October 15th, 2009 at 3:03 PM ^

My love for Michigan football goes much deeper then 100,000+ fans. If it happens it happens, great. seriously, is this really the biggest concern in your entire life right now?


October 15th, 2009 at 4:56 PM ^

In all of the marketing communications the University puts out in general about athletics, the reference is always to "100,000+ people in the Big House for each and every home game" or some such language. The references are always to fannies actually in the stadium; they're not couched in terms of tickets sold. When people inside the University and outside it refer to the streak of consecutive games in excess of 100,000, it's always with the unstated assumption that it refers to attendance, not tickets sold, and nobody in the University in general or the Athletic Dept in particular corrects them and says "well in reality, we've had several games where the actual attendance was less than 100,000."

Not that it matters in the slightest.


October 15th, 2009 at 9:27 PM ^

If they only counted scanned tickets, there would be no 100,000 attendance streak to speak of. There have probably been several games that haven't really had nearly that many people actually in attendance, like last year against Northwestern.