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There's no place like home

Published October 10, 2004

Yost Ice Arena was built in 1923 and was dedicated for Michigan
football coaching legend Fielding Yost. The building was originally
home to the track and basketball teams before being converted to an
ice arena in 1973. More than 6,600 people can fit inside, and
although this may not sound like a huge crowd, when the arena is
packed, the place really rocks — including the student
section, known for its loud and sometimes vulgar cheers. Michigan
hockey coach Red Berenson had many kind words for the place he has
called home for the last 21 seasons. “Wait until you go
around the league and see the other rinks — then it’s a
no-brainer,” Berenson said. “I mean, it’s a great
venue. It’s a players’ rink — the noise in here,
the environment, the combination of the band and the students. The
whole college hockey culture at Yost is pretty much one of the best
in the country, if not the best. When asked about his favorite
memory from Yost, Berenson admitted that a whole book chapter could
be written on the subject. But one of the most memorable is the
1998 NCAA tournament regional: “Regionals here in ‘98
were unbelievable. When we were playing North Dakota and they were
the favorite team. The noise level in here and the excitement
— you couldn’t script a better situation. People up in
the press box thought it was going to fall down. I mean,
that’s how it was. And we had that more than once, but
that’s one example.”

— Ian Herbert

 

After passing Ocker Field (the field hockey facility), many
students assume they’ve traversed the extent of the
university’s athletic facilities. Sadly, only few are truly
enlightened. If you go just a little further — under the
Stadium Boulevard overpass and on towards Briarwood Mall, to your
right you’ll catch a glimpse of Michigan’s temple of
tennis, the Varsity Tennis Center. Mounted upon a tiered series of
manicured hills of grass, the Preston Robert Tisch Building rises
above the William Clay Ford Outdoors Courts. The complex first
opened for competition in 1997, and has played host to many
regional and national NCAA tournaments, as well as the boys’
and girls’ Michigan high school state championships. The Ford
facility provides 12 championship-caliber courts while the 632-seat
Tisch indoor complex — named after the current owner of the
NFL’s New York Giants — houses eight courts. Host of
the 1999 Big Ten Men’s Tennis Championships and the 2000 Big
Ten Women’s Championships, the relatively new complex is
constantly building its legacy.

— Max Kardon

 

Traditionally nicknamed “The House that Cazzie
Built,” in reference to Michigan basketball legend Cazzie
Russell, Crisler Arena has been the home to various Michigan
sporting events for 37 years. Named after Herbert O.
“Fritz” Crisler, a former Wolverine football coach, the
7.2-million dollar building was the architectural gem of Dan
Dworsky, a linebacker on Crisler’s 1947 and 1948 national
champion football teams. In addition to being the home of the
men’s and women’s basketball and several wrestling and
gymnastic events, Crisler Arena annually hosts many other community
events. It has even hosted concerts for Bob Dylan and the Boston
Pops. Inside of Crisler, you can walk the corridors and gaze at the
accomplishments of past and present. Wolverine student-athletes, or
glance upward towards the south rafters in the arena and see the
retired numbers of three Michigan basketball greats: Russell,
current Los Angeles Lakers coach Rudy Tomjanovich and Phil Hubbard.
No. 41 — worn by former Wolverine Glen Rice — will rise
to the ceiling of Crisler Arena this season at halftime of the home
game on February 20.

“It was Super Bowl Sunday and the atmosphere in Crisler
was electric, a glimpse of the potential that Crisler has to be an
intimidating gym,” said Michigan “SuperFan V”
Ryan Shinsk about the January 26 Michigan-Michigan State game
during the 2002-03 season. “It was a great game and (the
fans) rushed the court after … I get goose-bumps just
thinking about it.”

— Eric Ambinder

 


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