Sept. 8, 2011
University of Michigan director of athletics Dave Brandon will regularly offer his view on a variety of topics related to U-M and intercollegiate sports. All his posts, along with links to related content, will be available on his page, mgoblue.com/brandon, and he is also on Twitter at @DaveBrandonAD.
At Michigan Athletics, we call it teamwork; other areas of our campus might call it collaboration. Whatever wording one wants to use, this ideal promotes a common purpose and betters any organization's likelihood for success.
That is why we are so confident this week's first night football game at Michigan Stadium and the activities surrounding our "Under the Lights" event will be successful.
This endeavor is not solely tied to the athletic department. It is an effort the entire University of Michigan community is supporting and allowing us to make happen.
We all have a stake in this game. We have known this from the start. The work didn't begin this past summer; the planning started even before we announced our first home night game nearly 18 months ago.
Even though other schools have played night games and it's not new to college football, the idea of having an "Under the Lights" game and all the weekend activities is a first for Ann Arbor and U-M.
The microscope is fine tuned. We are on national stage and that is why we are working to make this weekend a showcase for the future. A great weekend will allow us to have more of these "wow" events. This type of high-profile event at the Big House will not only help promote U-M, but it helps our local economy in a very measurable way.
In the future, I would like for us to consider hosting no more than one night game a year. (To be clear, we are not interested in playing Michigan State or Ohio State at night, and we will work hard to avoid any night games in Ann Arbor after the clock changes from daylight saving time to standard time.)
To consider any of these possibilities, we must make this weekend successful in every way. If we do ... if it goes well ... we can consider future opportunities. If it doesn't go well, we won't be in a position to consider anything!
I have been impressed by the way our various vendors, partners and stakeholders have worked together. We have been able to draw on one another's strengths and experiences.
Last Saturday, I was impressed and thankful for the orderly manner in which our fans evacuated Michigan Stadium. This week, I certainly hope there won't be a need for any evacuations! However, I know it will be important for us to see the same teamwork and spirit of cooperation. Our fans will be important partners in the success of this game.
"Under the Lights" is the name we attached to the event. When it is complete, we want everyone to remember this event as a positive, safe and friendly experience -- because we don't want this to be the first and only "Under the Lights" game at Michigan Stadium!