Plans for a major renovation to Michigan Stadium, including the addition of luxury boxes, improvements to seating and safety and added restrooms and concessions, are being prepared by athletic department officials and discussed with members of the University’s Board of Regents.

Eston Bond
The plans to renovate Michigan Stadium could lead to the construction of luxury boxes, additional seating and improved bathrooms. If the renovations
occur, they will be the first major effort to restructure the complex since its creation in 1927. (FILE

If constructed, luxury boxes — small, enclosed seating areas that often include hotel-like amenities — would pay for themselves as well as bring in significant revenues for the athletic department in future years. Last year, department officials and several regents visited Ohio State and Penn State’s stadiums, both of which recently added luxury boxes. Regent Martin Taylor (D–Grosse Pointe Farms) said a proposal is expected to be brought before the regents for approval in the near future.

“Hopefully in short order we’ll get a full-blown actual recommendation,” Taylor said. “It’s in the study phase now. What they’re doing, which I fully support, is looking at everything. We’re going to look at everything from additional seating to improved seating, improving the restrooms, to improving the ability to evacuate the building.”

The stadium, which was constructed in 1927 at a cost of $950,000, has not seen any significant renovations other than seating expansions. Officials said it has problems ranging from inadequate restrooms and concession stands to cramped seating and aisles.

“It is built, of course, for the tiniest people in the world,” Taylor said. “And some folks have looked and said maybe we need to renovate the whole stadium from stem to stern.”

Athletic Director Bill Martin said talk of such renovations to Michigan Stadium has been going on within the athletic department since the 1970s.

“A lot of it has to do with the market, the timing, the perceived need,” Martin said. “Ever since I’ve been here — I’m now in my fifth year here — we’ve been obviously looking at it, studying the market, evaluating what kind of improvements we need to make to Michigan Stadium.”

In October 2003, several regents and athletic department officials, including Martin, visited Ohio State and Penn State’s campuses to view their athletic facilities and examine the recent renovations made to Ohio Stadium and Beaver Stadium, said Regent David Brandon (R–Ann Arbor).

“This was an opportunity to see what the current state of some of our facilities were vis-

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *