One word describes Michigan Stadium; huge. From the
time it opened in 1927 until today, Michigan Stadium has maintained
its status of being one of
the largest stadiums in college football. Prior to playing at Michigan
Stadium the Wolverines played at Ferry Field since 1906 and continually had to expand the stadium as
interest in the team grew. With growing support, a new stadium was
needed to accommodate fans. Fielding Yost, coach of
the team designed a new stadium and the University of Michigan
approved construction in April 1926. Built at a cost of $950,000,
Michigan Stadium was modeled after the Yale Bowl and was built of
steel and concrete. When completed the stadium seated nearly
72,000 fans. Yost designed the stadium so it could be expanded to seat
up to 200,000 fans. Prior to its opening in 1927, Yost lobbied
the university to add an additional 10,000 seats to the stadium. The
university approved and the stadium was completed in October 1927.
The Michigan Wolverines played their inaugural first game at Michigan
Stadium on October 1, 1927 against Ohio Wesleyan. The entire single
tier grandstand circled the playing field. The official capacity when
Michigan Stadium opened was 84,401, an enormous number during
this time and was the largest stadium in the nation in 1927. As support for the team grew so did the stadium. By 1928, the capacity
was increased to 85,753. In 1930, new electronic scoreboards were added
at each end zone. Michigan
Stadium was expanded yet again by the 1949 season, when the stadium capacity increased to 97,239.
In 1956, a new press box was constructed that
increased the seating capacity to 101,001.
Stadium’s famous blue bleachers and yellow
Block M were completed before the 1965 season. Prior to the 1969
season, the grass field was replaced with Tartan, a type of Astroturf. By the 1973 season
the box seats located in the first three rows of the stadium
were removed and replaced with bleacher seats increasing the capacity
slightly. Before the start of the 1991 season,
the field at Michigan Stadium was lowered with the installation of
natural grass and two new rows of seats were installed boosting the
seating capacity to
were completed in 1997,
when seats were added along with new video/scoreboards. In 1998,
5,000 seats where added bringing the capacity to 107,501.
Recently, Fieldturf has replaced the grass field.
2006, the Michigan Board of Regents voted to construct new luxury
boxes and renovate Michigan Stadium. This $226 million renovation project
was completed by the 2010 season and included 83 suites, 3,200
club seats, wider seats and isles increasing the seating capacity
to 109,901. Before the start of the 2011 season a new 47 feet tall
by 85 feet wide HD video/scoreboard was installed at the
stadium. Before the start of the 2015 season the seating
capacity of Michigan Stadium was reduced by 2,300 seats to 107,601
due to re-configuring for non-football events and installation of
hand rails throughout the stadium.
Stadium is the largest college football stadium in the nation. It is
nicknamed “The Big House” because of its enormous size. For over 200
games the Wolverines have attracted more than 100,000 fans and hosted
111,238 fans in a game against Michigan State on November 20, 1999.