Jan. 7, 2000

Paul Wong
Former University President Lee Bollinger said Jan. 6, 2000 that the yellow halo on top of Michigan Stadium would be removed. (David Rochkind/Daily)

The halo crowning Michigan Stadium – which students, alumni and other members of the University community have openly criticized – will come down before the 2000 football season, University President Lee Bollinger announced Jan 6.

“While we don’t have any official statistics, I have to concede that, according to public response, many more disliked the changes than liked them,” Bollinger said.

Bollinger said the upcoming renovations to the stadium will be “a much more public process,” although he is not certain how the Athletic Department will garner community opinion.

In September, Bollinger said “the renovations to the stadium were a mistake. We were rushed and we did not have sufficient public commentary on the changes.”

The halo debuted during the first game of the 1998 football season – the same year the Athletic Department recorded a deficit of $2.784 million for the 1998-99 fiscal year.

Although some speculate that the Athletic Department lost revenue this year due to the halo’s poor reception, Wayne Baskerville, director of development for the Athletic Department, said money matters were not the deciding factor in the decision to remove the stadium’s halo.

“There were so many aspects of the decision to remove the halo,” he said. “I imagine (finances) were looked at as one of many considerations, but it certainly wasn’t the most crucial aspect.”

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