The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan is the home of The Big House football stadium. The original stadium was built in 1927 and held 72,000 people. The original stadium was built at a cost of $950,000.
After renovations for the 2010 football season and “The Big Chill at The Big House” The Big House in Ann Arbor, Michigan is currently the third largest stadium in the world. The Big House has an official capacity of 109,901. The Big House often holds 110,000 fans, players and band members. While “The Big House” is larger then other stadiums in the country, that does not mean the fan experience is better. In fact, it can be a real let down.
The Big House had to revise their original renovation plans when the disabled veterans filed a lawsuit in April 2007 against the University Of Michigan for not meeting the federal standards for wheelchair access seating. The case was settled in March 2008 with revised plans to add more accessible seating during renovation.
At “The Big House” you’ll find some less then entertaining entertainment on the street corner. While they did think of public safety, the talking and singing police officer controlling the lights might just be over the top. With Michigan’s economy hurting, it’s sad to think their hard earned tax dollars went to that kind of entertainment or lack there of.
At “The Big House”, you won’t find comfortable seating. When you’re ready to watch the game, be prepared to be very close to your neighbors seated beside, behind and in front of you. A knee to the back, an elbow to the side is to be expected at “The Big House”. While they boast about grand size and how many people fit in the stadium, comfort is one thing that went out the planning door.
At “The Big House”, you won’t find any tradition beyond singing “Hail To The Victor”. Other places like Oklahoma State University have the kiss cam. The Iowa Hawkeyes have the smile cam. The “Big House” has none of that. During media and field time outs your neighbors are your entertainment. If you’re lucky, you’ll sit by some great people with lots of team spirit.
At “The Big House” don’t expect to hear the announcements or officials calling the game. They renovated the stadium but the public announcement system was missed. You will hear select things but if you’re not paying close attention, you’ll have to ask the neighbor (who is practically sitting on your lap)
At “The Big House” expect to wait in line for the bathroom. Men and women wait and wait to use the restroom. When making expansion plans for 2010, restrooms weren’t top on the priority list.
At “The Big House” you will find a Michigan Fan base that loves their team, enjoys the game and for the most part well behaved.
Sometimes bigger is not always better. The Michigan University stadium is one of those things. While the stats are big and grand, “The Big House” is anything but wonderful. In fact it can leave you feeling a little beat up and needing some personal space.
On December 11, 2010 “The Big House” has planned to host “The Big Chill”. “The Big Chill at The Big House” will turn the football field into a ice hockey rink. Again, the University of Michigan is looking for record setting attendance at “The Big House”.
Someone at the University of Michigan is more concerned about the numbers, then the comfort and safety of their fans. If you’re headed to “The Big House” don’t think you’re more then a number to them because it’s clear no one is.