The University of Michigan is well-known for its gorgeous campus, academic rigor, and Big Ten football. On Saturdays, the University of Michigan community and the entire town of Ann Arbor prepare for game day at The Big House.
Are you fortunate enough to have tickets to one of Michigan Stadium’s eight consistently sold-out football games, The Big House? Michigan’s devoted fans come from all around the Midwest and beyond, filling 109,701 seats.
Here are 17 firsthand recommendations from an Ann Arbor local who has cheered in the stands and served the crowd from the concession stands for the ultimate game day at the Big House. You’ll be prepared for the game if the following questions are answered:
2.Where do we stay?
3.Where do we park?
4.Is there handicapped parking?
5.Eating in Ann Arbor
6.Understanding Michigan Stadium
7.What should we wear?
8.What can we bring in?
9.What can’t we bring in?
10.What about our purses?
11.What about masks?
12.What about tailgating?
13.Pro tips for the concession stand
14.What food is available inside?
15.Getting free water
16.What about beer and alcohol?
17.Pro tips for restrooms
Game weekends at The Big House are the epicentre of Ann Arbor. The community goes out of its way to make the Michigan faithful feel welcomed and joyous. As an Ann Arbor native, I have the inside scoop! The research is being conducted in order for you to experience the finest football weekend ever. Blue is the color!
- Finding Tickets
The greatest source for Michigan sports tickets is U-M (pronounced “U of M”), which may be found online at MGoBlue.com. You can purchase them in person at the Michigan Ticket Department at the South Sports Complex on South State Street, which is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. In 2021, all tickets will be digital.
- Where Do We Stay?
For game weekends, the Ann Arbor area boasts over 74 hotels, numerous Airbnb’s, and other properties. Many offer shuttles to Briar Wood Mall, where school buses do loops to the stadium. Lodging costs more during game weekends, with many requiring two-night stays.
The downtown hotels are 1.1 miles distant if you want to stroll to the game. The 11 hotels near Briarwood Mall provide access to the mall’s game shuttles. Walking is an easy 2.1 miles and is typically preferable because the mall shuttle line is rather long.
- Where Do We Park?
The parking lots near Michigan Stadium are largely permit-only. The closest available public parking is at Pioneer High School (typically $50), which is located across Main Street from Michigan Stadium.
Many homeowners and businesses in the stadium’s immediate vicinity provide parking on their lawns and in parking lots. The price ranges from $20 to $30.
Parking downtown near the main campus costs $10, and there is minimal free street parking. On game day, obey all parking signs because city parking monitors will be out in force issuing citations. Downtown parking garages may offer special event parking (typically for $15) for all-day game parking. Other garages have set charges.
- Is There Handicapped Parking?
Some portions of parking near Michigan Stadium and the adjacent basketball arena, Crisler Center, are reserved for persons with U-M mobility-impaired single game permits, and a limited number of day-of spaces are available for purchase in cash ($50).
Here is the most recent information, including contact information, for obtaining a single-game parking pass.
- Eating In Ann Arbor
Every game weekend, Ann Arbor prepares to welcome all of the visitors for the football game. There are nearly 400 restaurants in the region, serving every cuisine imaginable.
Arriving early for breakfast at Nick’s House of Pancakes or Angelo’s before the typical noon start time adds to the excitement of game day.
Come early for a 3:30 p.m. or night game to soak up the town’s enthusiasm. Palio’s or the Jolly Pumpkin serve lunch on Main Street. Alternatively, try a local favorite like Ethiopian cuisine at Blue Nile or fantastic pizza at The Original Cottage Inn. Reservations are strongly advised.
- Understanding Michigan Stadium
The gates open two hours before kickoff. Arrive an hour before the game to avoid having to wait in line with the loud supporters that arrive right before kick-off.
At the gate, you will go through metal detectors, and then personnel will read your tickets from your cell phone using the ticket app. Download the official Michigan Stadium Map to your phone.
- What Should We Wear?
Standard colors are maize (yellow/gold) and navy blue. Some games will have a maize out, in which the entire stadium is required to wear maize. Always dress in layers because the weather might change dramatically from the start of the day to the time you get back to your car. During late-fall games, blankets can improve the game.
Wear Michigan State Spartan green or brilliant red/scarlet (we do not mention the team from Columbus) unless you are rooting for one of those two teams. Most people will ignore you if you’re dressed in those hues. Some will engage in some lighthearted teasing. A few people may be impolite.
Take note that there is security in each seating section wearing maize windbreakers who will assist you with anything.
- What Can We Bring In?
. You may bring in:
. Foam seat pads
. Small non-pocket seat cushions without storage slots
. Binoculars – no cases
. Cell phones and pagers
. Small cameras (those with a lens shorter than 6 inches)
. Small radios
. Rain apparel (no umbrellas)
- What Can’t We Bring In?
What to leave in the car or at the hotel is listed below. When preparing for game day, always consult the most recent list:
. All bags (including purses, fanny packs, etc.)
. All bottles (including all types of water bottles)
. Alcoholic beverages
. Apparel or signage displaying profane or abusive language
. Containers of any kind (including coolers, thermoses, cups, cans, flasks, etc.)
. Food of any kind
. Projectiles (including footballs, frisbees, and beach balls)
. Seat cushions containing any metal or those with pockets, storage slots, seat backs, armrests, or attachments of any kind
. Video camera, tripods, and selfie sticks
- What About Our Purses?
All purses, fanny packs, and student bags are prohibited. Instead of a standard purse, a compact clear gallon bag can be used to store personal belongings. Fortunately, stadium-approved clear handbags are now available.
You can address any essential medical supply packs with the admission staff at the gates. Arrive early so that the personnel may be thorough and kind before the crowds become too large.
- What About Face Masks For Covid-19?
As of September 20, 2021, all people will be required to wear a mask or face covering over their mouth and nose indoors and at concession stands. People are encouraged to wear face coverings at their seats.
All employees and volunteers must wear masks at all times.
- What About Tailgating?
Tailgating for Michigan football games is an art form in Ann Arbor. Many families and friends’ groups have tailgated in the stadium’s parking lots, across Stadium Boulevard at the Ann Arbor Golf and Outing Club, and at residences across the region. The environment includes TVs, barbecues, corn hole (a bean bag game), and music.
Pioneer High School has overnight RV parking and tailgating licences available for $250 per car slot. These are acquired in advance.
- Pro Tips For The Concession Stands
Because the stadium is always sold out, there is always someone at each snack stand. After directing up to 18 workers at a large stand, here are some pro concession booth tips:
- What Food Is Available Inside?
Concessions at Michigan Stadium vary depending on the stand. A pulled pork sandwich, waffle fries, or a Philly cheesesteak are only available at one or two of the 90 stands.
The lengthy stands sell machine Coke, personal pizzas (pepperoni or cheese), standard and Kosher hotdogs, salted or plain pretzels, popcorn, and candies. Burgers (normal and black bean), French fries, machine soda or bottled soda (but not both), popcorn, and candies are available at the shorter stands.
Other stands sell baked or boiled nuts, ice cream, or bottled Coke.
- Getting Free Water
Anyone can get a little plastic cup of free water at concession kiosks. They are not permitted to use a soda cup to obtain free water. Look for the free water fountains around the stadium’s perimeter. You are allowed to drink as much water as you desire.
- What About Beer And Alcohol?
Because the University of Michigan is a dry, alcohol-free campus, no beer, wine, or alcohol is sold at any concession stand. Kegs or cases of beer, as well as various sorts of alcohol, can be drank around the stadium.
You are not permitted to carry alcohol inside. Canned beer and wine may be offered at some concession booths for non-U-M events like as National Hockey League games or major professional soccer matches. These events are listed on the Michigan Stadium website.
- Pro Tips For Restrooms
The towers were erected to Michigan Stadium in 2007, along with extensive contemporary bathrooms beneath the Crisper Arena side concourse. Down the huge steps (or the elevator on the outside wall), there are over 100 stalls for women and a new facility for men.
A football game attended by nearly 100,000 individuals dressed in maize and blue is a wonderful community event. The key to a great Saturday in Ann Arbor is planning ahead of time, so you know where you want to stay, park, dine, and what to wear to the game. Find your seat and be ready to cheer, “Go Blue!” with the Michigan faithful.