In this post, you’ll discover our list with the top facts about Michigan Stadium, one of the most amazing sports venues in Michigan you’ll ever come across.
1. It has a fitting nickname
Michigan Stadium is located in Ann Arbor and is the football stadium of the University of Michigan and has a current capacity of 107,601. This means it’s the biggest stadium in the United States and the third-biggest stadium in the world.
Because Michigan Stadium is so huge, it has been called “The Big House” since the mid-1980s.
2. Michigan’s old stadium is called “Ferry Field”
Before the Michigan Wolverines moved to Michigan Stadium, they used to play their home games in a stadium called “Ferry Field.” The stadium could hold up to 40,000 people during its peak.
Ferry Field, which is also located in Ann Arbor, still exists and was transformed into a multi-purpose sports complex and is currently mainly used as a tailgating space for football games.
3. The stadium was completed in 1927
In the 1920s it became clear that Ferry Field didn’t suffice anymore for the huge demand of fans wanting to get a glimpse of the football matches being played there. So it was decided to build a completely new stadium in 1926.
The stadium was completed a year later in 1927 and originally had a capacity of 72,000 spectators, which was nearly double the size of the old Ferry Field.
4. The first game at the stadium ended in 33-0
The first game to be played at the stadium was played on October 1, 1927, and was a game between Michigan and Ohio Wesleyan.
Even though this was the first official game at Michigan Stadium, it was more of a testing game as it was easily won by Michigan with a score of 33-0.
5. The official dedication happened 3 weeks later
After this initial warm-up game, the stadium was officially dedicated during a game against Ohio State on October 22, 1917. The game was attended by 84,401 fans as temporary bleachers were added to the top of the stadium.
One of the most interesting facts about Michigan Stadium is that Michigan had spoiled the official dedication of Ohio Stadium 5 years earlier. Ohio didn’t get revenge because they lost again against Michigan with 21-0.
6. It was constructed to become this big
One of the most interesting facts about Michigan Stadium is that it was constructed by visionaries. Even though a capacity of over 100,000 wasn’t needed at the time, footings were included which allowed the stadium to be easily expanded in the future.
In fact, the legendary coach “Fielding Yost” envisioned that a seating capacity of over 150,000 seats would be needed one day in the future.
This turned out to be a great move because a capacity of over 100,000 was already reached with the addition of a press box in the year 1956.
7. Michigan Stadium holds multiple amazing records
Michigan Stadium is the biggest stadium in the United States and therefore holds several amazing records.
The most obvious one is the highest attendance record which was set on September 7, 2013, when a game between Michigan and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish was attended by a crowd of 115,109.
The highest average attendance during an entire season was also set at Michigan Stadium as in 2012, an average of 112,252 fans attended home games at the stadium.
The highest-ever attendance for a soccer game in the United States was also established at Michigan Stadium. A sell-out crowd of 109,318 saw Manchester United beat Real Madrid with 3-1 on August 2, 2014.
8. There’s hasn’t been a home game with less than 100,000 fans since 1975
Perhaps the most astounding record held by Michigan is that every home game since the year 1975 has been attended by over 100,000 fans!
Yes, that’s right, the last game with less than 100,000 fans inside the stadium was played on November 8, 1975, a game between Michigan and Indiana.
9. It was the first stadium in the country to have electronic scoreboards
Just 3 years after the stadium had officially opened, in 1930, electronic scoreboards were installed, a revolutionary feature at the time.
In fact, Michigan Stadium was the first stadium in the United States to have these. Since then, these have been seriously upgraded and the new boards measure 4,000 square feet (370 square meters) each and have a resolution of 900 x 1632.
10. Every official capacity number of the stadium ends with 01
The stadium has been renovated and upgraded multiple times in its history. This also means that new capacity numbers are announced every time this has happened.
The official capacity number has always ended with 01 since the year 1956. The reason is that this extra seat is reserved for Fritz Crisler, a legend in football who served as head coach of Michigan from 1938 to 1947 and who invented “two-platoon football” during this time.
Where the seat is located exactly is a mystery.
11. You can’t see that Michigan stadium is this big from the outside
If you walk past Michigan Stadium, you wouldn’t believe that the stadium could accommodate over 100,000 fans.
The reason for this is the fact that most of the seats are located below ground level, which literally makes it appear as an ordinary 3-story building from the outside.
12. A renovation project worth $226 million USD upgraded the stadium
A massive renovation project was announced on June 21, 2007, and it would cost a total of USD 226 million. The entire stadium was upgraded and the renovations included replacement of some bleachers, widening of aisles and individual seats, installing handrails, and the addition of a new press box, 83 luxury boxes, and 3,200 club seats.
Michigan Stadium was rededicated on September 4, 2010, and became not just one of the biggest stadiums in the world, but also the most advanced!