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Westsider Rider

Monday, May 22, 2006

Trying to Catch Up

Lots of the stuff has gone on in the past few weeks on the football front that I haven't been able to discuss due to how great the NBA playoffs have been and there are still two more Game 7's tonight I'll get back into football. The most recent news was the approval by the Regents of the University of Michigan to add luxury suites and club seating to Michigan Stadium. This decision is not without its opponents though as the measure passed by a 5-3 vote so it wasn't a unanimous choice.

It is a $227 million plan but I have no problems with this move as it is something that is necessary in today's age of sports. I am somewhat worried about how the stadium will look after the additions are made but I'm sure the changes will be made to blend in with the existing stadium. Below is a diagram from the Ann Arbor News with the changes:


There was/is a lot of opposition to this decision but in the current state of sports these changes are necessary to keep Michigan up to date. The athletic department supports itself and revenue from football is necessary to keep other sports around and this will help in that. From the anti-renovation group Savethebighouse.com:

Private luxury boxes represent the very antithesis of that tradition, dividing Michigan fans by income and undermining the unity, excitement and camaraderie that Michigan fans of all ages and backgrounds share as they experience the game together.

This statement would be true if every ticket in the stadium was the same price but it's not. Fans are already divided by income as it costs more to get 50 yard line seats than seats in the end zone. Not just that the mandatory donations for the premium seats are more as well. Another reason I'm all for these changes is it will probably make the Big House louder as the fans who yell "Down in front" and refuse to cheer during games will probably relocate to these club seats and luxury suites adding more fans that will actually stand and make some noise while the 2nd deck should trap some more sound in the stadium.

It was a good weekend on the diamonds for Michigan as the baseball team clinched their first Big Ten Title since 1997 and in doing so will host the Big Ten Tournament this week at the Fish. While the softball team won the Ann Arbor Regional and will now travel to Tennessee to face the Volunteers in the Super Regional which is a best of 3 series to advance to the Softball World Series.

ESPN/ABC announced that it is starting a Saturday night Prime Time College Football series. I for one, love it. Coach Carr has been outspoken about his dislike for night games but in addition to time difference, which allows me to enjoy the games without having to get up early on Saturday morning, I love watching night games. There's the whole day of anticipation and the buzz that surrounds a big night game. Of course the big one of the series will be the September 9th game between Texas and Ohio State. Michigan will be on this series at least twice as the Minnesota and Penn State games are on the schedule. I'm starting to get excited about the upcoming season already but it's still a ways away at least I have these NBA playoffs and the World Cup until then.

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