Thursday, September 4, 2008

New and Improved

One of the interesting things about Michigan Stadium is that despite being the biggest stadium in the country, it is unique in that it doesn't really have an "inside" That is to say there is no covered concourse. Or at least there never was before now. In that sense, the new additions to stadium will radically alter the experience of the average fan, at least when they are not watching the game.

Some thoughts on the changes:
-We got to the game on Saturday several hours earlier than we normally do, in part to walk around the stadium and in part because of the warnings of long lines to get in. I think most other people had the same idea. I can't remember the last time when there wasn't a line to get into our section at kickoff.
-Every time I went under a low beam, I couldn't help but think it would look good with an "M Club Support You" banner attached/
-Good idea to limit the number of concessions under the structures. I didn't really think that there was anymore congestion around the concourse than normal. In fact, I think the area behind the press box was actually easier to navigate because the leveled the ground.
-Why didn't they make the new M-Den in the north structures bigger? There was still a line to get into the store before and after the game.
-I like that they exposed some of the columns from the original entrance to the stadium on the eastern sideline.
-They should tear down the western wall of Crisler, and just combine it with the stadium, since there is now not more than 40-50 feet separating the two structures. You could use the new area for concessions, thereby eliminating some of the congestion on the concourses around Crisler.
-The stadium did seem louder at times in the second half, but perhaps that was just my imagination. I think that is sort of a self-fulfilling prophecy. If enough people believe the stadium will be louder, they will be louder to try and keep up.
-When I looked about 10-15 minutes before game time, the new wheelchair seating all along the eastern sideline was about 40-50% full.
-Looking at the ends of each structure, it is very easy to see how they could extend those all around each end, so that you had an upper deck over each end zone.