Michigan Stadium Top 10 Facts

1. Michigan Stadium, which was completed in 1927 at a cost in excess of $950,000, originally had seating available for 72,000 fans. As the stadium neared completion, Fielding Yost requested an additional 10,000 temporary seats for the concourse at the top of the stadium. When Michigan Stadium officially opened in 1927, it was the largest college-owned stadium in the nation with a capacity of 84,401. Numerous renovations and additions over the years have increased the seating to its current 109,901 capacity.

2. In 1925, the land where Michigan Stadium now stands was purchased for $240,000. This land is located where a spring had been, a source that had served the University of Michigan's water needs in its earlier days. The water posed a problem to the construction as the land had to be lowered to take care of a large underground lake. The surface, which nearly resembled quicksand, engulfed a crane during construction, which according to legend remains buried under the stadium today.

3. The construction for Michigan Stadium was not financed by the State of Michigan taxpayers, instead the Michigan Board in Control of Athletics offered 3,000 bonds at a price of $500 each to pay for the construction. These bonds entitled the bondholder to buy season tickets, guaranteed between the 30-yard lines, for every season between 1927 until the bonds would be retired in 1936. Due to the Great Depression, not a penny was paid on the bonds and they were not completely retired until October 15, 1947.

Dedication Game

4. The Wolverines played their first game at Michigan Stadium on October 1, 1927, defeating Ohio Wesleyan, 33-0. The stadium dedication game (left) was played on October 22, 1927, with U-M defeating Ohio State, 21-0, before a then-record crowd of 84,401.

5. U-M lead the nation in average attendance for the 15th straight season in 2013, averaging 111,592 fans. Through the 2013 season, the Wolverines have played 251 consecutive home games in front of crowds in excess of 100,000.

6. It was estimated that there were 106,000,000 blades of grass making up the field at Michigan Stadium at the dedication game in 1927. Michigan football has not always played on grass as artificial turf was in the stadium from 1969 through 1990. In May 1991, Michigan Stadium returned to grass when 87,000 feet of Prescription Athletic Turf (sod) was installed; however, in 2003, the field returned to an artificial surface with the installation of FieldTurf.

7. In 1930, Michigan took advantage of new technology and installed electronic scoreboards at both ends of the stadium. In doing so, Michigan Stadium became the first stadium to use electronic scoreboards for official game time. Today, Michigan Stadium is one of the few collegiate stadiums with a video scoreboard in each end zone.

8. From 1969 to 1975, the Wolverines compiled a 41-game undefeated streak at Michigan Stadium. The streak began with a 31-20 win over Purdue on October 11, 1969 and ended with a 21-14 loss to Ohio State on November 22, 1975.

Fritz Crisler
Fritz Crisler

9. U-M set the all-time attendance mark, college or NFL, when 115,109 were in attendance for Michigan's 41-30 win over Notre Dame on September 7, 2013. Entering the 2014 season, the Wolverines hold all 25 spots on the NCAA single-game regular-season crowds list, which has been compiled since 1949.

10. Finally, one fact that remains unknown about Michigan Stadium is the location of Fritz Crisler's seat - the one "extra" seat that is indicated at the end of the stadium's capacity. The tradition began in 1956 in honor of the long-time athletic director.