Blog Entry

Michigan AD: 120,000-seat stadium a possibility

Posted on: May 26, 2011 6:10 pm

Posted by Adam Jacobi

One would not normally look at Michigan Stadium, home of 109,901 Wolverine fans on fall Saturdays, and think "this needs to be considerably bigger." It's already the biggest stadium in North America, after all, and renovations were just completed there last year. Time to leave the Big House alone for a few decades, yes?

Well, maybe, but maybe not. Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon was on WTKA-AM in Ann Arbor this morning, and as the Detroit Free Press reports, he shared a vision that would accommodate perhaps 10,000 or more fans in the hallowed stadium:

"One of the things that I’ve said publicly I’d love to do at some point is close in at least one of the ends, and that’s all part of the master plan for growth. The south end of the stadium would be the place that we would start, and if we were to take the bleacher system up to the top of the scoreboards, which would be even with the elevation of the East and the West towers, create a concourse that would afford fans the ability to get from one side to the other, both indoors and outdoors, both in the concourse and additional bleacher capacity.

"It would take the total capacity up close to 119,000, maybe even 120,000. I would love to do that at some point under my watch."

 Now, this wouldn't be building for the sake of building; Brandon reiterated multiple times during the interview that the expansion would need to be precipitated by fan demand; the extra seats would have to be sold immediately in order to actually pay for any new construction, so they're not driving the heavy construction equipment to the Big House just yet. Still, Brandon specifically mentioned doing the expansion under his watch, and he's already almost 60 years old, so this probably isn't a 2050 project either.

Of course, it should also be mentioned that Michigan is coming off its worst three-year stretch in program history, and unless Brady Hoke turns the program around quickly, we may never see the extra demand for season tickets that the project requires. So there is that tiny little detail too. Nonetheless, should the Good Ship Wolverine be righted soon, we may soon see the Big House get even Bigger once again.


Since: Aug 10, 2008
Posted on: May 30, 2011 7:17 pm

Michigan AD: 120,000-seat stadium a possibility

Instead of adding more seats, how about making the current ones larger? If you've ever had the displeasure of going to a game in the Big House, you know if brings new meaning to "getting to know your neighbors". If your @ss is more than 10 inches wide and your legs are more than 24 inches long, it's a real ordeal. At least the fur seats on the toilets are kinda cute.

Since: Nov 17, 2006
Posted on: May 30, 2011 10:38 am

Michigan AD: 120,000-seat stadium a possibility

Whatever pal might want to worry about the mess Sweatervest has left behind.....

Since: Jul 28, 2009
Posted on: May 30, 2011 5:21 am

Michigan AD: 120,000-seat stadium a possibility

Now more people can come in and watch scUM get crushed by tOSU.

Since: May 21, 2011
Posted on: May 28, 2011 2:36 am

Michigan AD: 120,000-seat stadium a possibility


Now that is just funny, i have been sitting in row 89 for like 20 years now in the Southwest Corner almost on the Michigan Sideline.  I have loved sitting in row 89, plus on the 3:30 games I always had the sun at my back so i never had to look into the sun for those games.   I already counting down for the ND game...first night game at the Big House...oh HECK YEAH!!

Since: Dec 3, 2006
Posted on: May 27, 2011 4:03 pm

Michigan AD: 120,000-seat stadium a possibility

Hey ConeyDave;

I know there are maybe a thousand people who could sit in row 89--but I had to laugh when I read your post; because I have had season tickets now the last 4 years and they are in row 89!!  I sit in the southeast corner, diagonally across from the student section and I LOVE being that high up. 


Since: May 21, 2011
Posted on: May 27, 2011 1:28 pm

Michigan AD: 120,000-seat stadium a possibility

If Michigan can get back to being a top 15 contender I can see no reason why the demand for Michigan football tickets wouldnt be there.  And Losttribe is right, Yost planned this stadium to perfection.  By building the majority of the stadium into the ground first and putting the footings in the right place, he was thinking far beyond his years.  About 2/3 of the stadium is already below ground so after its recent renovations its no taller then most normal stadiums.  Truly a great design to Michigan Stadium.
Speaking from a fan who has had seats 89 rows up, there really isnt a bad seat in Michigan Stadium.  I have also been 4 rows up at the Rose bowl behind the Michigan bench, and really, being that low isnt all that good.  Sure the fact being only 4 rows up is nice, but you have no depth perception at all.  The nice thing about being up a ways is that you can see the entire field and still have no problem judging distances on the field.
The thought of 120K at the Big House is just awesome.  I love the concourse idea that allows you to get from one side of the stadium to the other.  I love DB's vision of what he wants to do with the Michigan Brand.  Lets see what he can think of next 

Since: Nov 12, 2009
Posted on: May 27, 2011 12:06 pm

Michigan AD: 120,000-seat stadium a possibility

The traffic in and out fo there sucks now, can you imagine another 10,000 people and cars!  If this does come to pass the city leaders of AA need to get their collective heads out of their rearends and ensure road construction is completed by the first home game!!

Since: Feb 23, 2009
Posted on: May 27, 2011 11:41 am

Michigan AD: 120,000-seat stadium a possibility

Does this mean they will start selling beer and wine at games?

Since: Aug 30, 2007
Posted on: May 27, 2011 11:06 am

Michigan AD: 120,000-seat stadium a possibility

I believe that might be the whole state of Michigan.  Wow, insane sounding and not very safe.  I bet they say there is not a bad seat in the house

When Coach Yost had the footings poured for the first version of the Big House when it went up way back when,  he made sure that there was plenty of extra for future construction. Yost's grand plan was to have a 150,000 seat stadium on the site but he had to settle at the time. But the foundation is there to support such a structure if so desired.

Since: Jan 7, 2011
Posted on: May 27, 2011 7:41 am

Michigan AD: 120,000-seat stadium a possibility

We have the largest stadium  in the entire universe and are fan base is still demanding more seats. Can you imagine the University of Michigan Big House seating 120,000 people. It will become the eighth wonder of the world! Not another football stadium in the entire world could ever compare to the advance technology of this stadium.........GO BLUE

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or