Crime at Michigan Stadium during home football games has increased so far this year, according to statistics from the Department of Public Safety.
There have been 240 incidents – citations, arrests or ejections from the stadium and its adjoining parking lots and the University golf course – this year. There had been 224 such incidents by the fifth home game in 2006 and 176 by the same point in 2005.
The crimes with the highest incidence in all three seasons are possession of alcohol in the stadium, minor in possession and disorderly conduct.
=DPS spokeswoman Diane Brown said DPS officers aren’t approaching stadium security any differently than in past years.
“There’s been no change in philosophy, particularly since 9/11,” she said.
The spike in crime is likely because of good weather and more games at 3:30 p.m., Brown said. Fans tend to drink more before later games, Brown said.
The games with the highest criminal activity in the last two seasons have almost always been at 3:30 p.m. Noon games yield far fewer citations.
Unlike many universities that have begun to host night games, Michigan has refused.
Michigan coach Lloyd Carr has said he doesn’t like night games.
Brown said the University stops holding games at 3:30 p.m. later in the year because the end of daylight savings time makes it necessary to light the stadium toward the end of games.
She said crime activity generally diminishes as the season progresses because of colder weather and increased academic pressure.
Brown said the minority of offenders are students. University of Michigan students committed eight of the 40 offenses reported at last week’s game against Eastern Michigan University, she said.
But games against big rivals yield the highest amount of criminal activity no matter their times and dates.
The 2006 game against Michigan State had the highest crime rate, with 80 incidents reported. Sixty-nine incidents were reported after both the Penn State game earlier this year and the game against Ohio State in 2005.