Crisler Arena will undergo renovations before the 2001-02 basketball season in an effort to rearrange seating to fit more students closer to the floor. Instead of regular seats in the sections directly behind the team benches and scorer”s table, bleacher seats will be installed.

Increasing the student section near the floor is an attempt to help the game experience.

“It”s a great start for us,” Michigan coach Tommy Amaker said. “It sounds like something that”s been needed to create a better atmosphere.

Currently, seating assignments are prioritized by consecutive years an individual has bought season tickets. A proposed change with the bleachers would be to go on a first-come-first-served basis.

Preliminary estimates project that 490 students will be able to sit in the sections closest to the court where previously just 110 students were given tickets. The “Maize Rage” will also now extend from behind the Michigan bench to behind the visitor”s bench on the lowest level, as opposed to past years where students were located in just section 3 behind the scorer”s table.

Seats would still be set aside behind the Michigan bench for recruits and behind the opponent”s bench for visitors” tickets.

Public seating will therefore be displaced from behind the benches to the upper part of section 3 in the lower bowl, which used to be part of the student section.

Director of Ticket Operations Marty Bodnar said this move would benefit those sitting in section 6 who have complained of parts of their view being blocked by students standing during the games. Now with public seating to their right, the view should be clearer.

Another possibility for next season would include courtside seating for the public. Possibly 100 seats would be available, requiring donations for each seat in addition to the cost of the ticket itself.

Ticket prices for students and public seating have yet to be determined.

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