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Michigan sets capacity at 109,901


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Michigan sets capacity at 109,901

Associated Press

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The University of Michigan made a lot of changes to the Big House, erecting luxury boxes and club seats in towering structures that loom along both sidelines as part of a $226 million renovation.

It also increased the seating capacity to 109,901 for this season -- up about 2,000 -- to reclaim the distinction from Penn State of having the largest football stadium in the country.

Athletic director Dave Brandon is already envisioning the iconic venue getting even bigger.

"We're already looking at future expansion," he said Wednesday after the media and public got a chance to tour the new-look stadium.

Brandon said the project -- which started a day after the 2007 season ended -- is on budget and on time. He said revenue generated by suites and club seats has already covered costs.

"It's already a financial win," he said.

But the school still has some selling to do before the opener Sept. 4 at home against Connecticut. Twenty of the 81 suites are available and about 80 percent of the 2,952 club seats haven't been sold yet.

Brandon said he's optimistic that giving people a chance to sit in comfy club seats and walk into posh suites -- an opportunity they had for 14 hours Wednesday -- will be great marketing that should boost sales.

Season-ticket holder Ken Close, a 60-year-old resident of Toledo, Ohio, took advantage of the public tour because he doesn't expect to have the money or a friend rich enough to see the premium seats again.

"I think this is great," Close said. "I know some traditionalists didn't want to make these big changes, but I think they're wonderful. We'll make new memories here. You have to grow with the times."

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I had some friends who went to the Michigan game yesterday at our fantasy draft. They said that it actually sounded loud there, which was surprising. They thought that UM may be piping sound through the speaker system. Apparently it's never really loud even with 105,000 people there. I guess it took 113,000. Also, I guess each seat was supposed to be widened. All four of them said no way, an inch doesn't count.

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I had some friends who went to the Michigan game yesterday at our fantasy draft. They said that it actually sounded loud there, which was surprising. They thought that UM may be piping sound through the speaker system. Apparently it's never really loud even with 105,000 people there. I guess it took 113,000. Also, I guess each seat was supposed to be widened. All four of them said no way, an inch doesn't count.

Because of the Bowl Shape Michigan stadium was never able to keep the noise/ cheers/ boos inside the stadium so Michigan Stadium was regarded as the quietest 110,000 fans in sports. The 2 Press Box were built to help keep some of the noise/ cheers/ boos inside the stadium. Each isle was widen 2 inches not each seat Michigan stadium is bleacher style seating.

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