Brandon's Blog: The Big Chill -- Bigger Than Just A Game

Dec. 8, 2010

University of Michigan director of athletics Dave Brandon will regularly offer his view on different topics related to U-M and intercollegiate sports. All of his posts, along with links to related content, will be available on his page,, and he is also on Twitter at @DaveBrandonAD.

The closer we get to Saturday's Big Chill at The Big House hockey game, the more excited I am about the event and the way our athletic department has embraced the work and effort that has gone into this project.

Everyone is focused on making sure we have everything in place for Saturday. From the pregame activities with Lawrence Kasdan, the U-M grad who, along with Barbara Benedek, who wrote the movie "The Big Chill," to a flyover by the United States' Air Force stealth bomber, to the special videos, fireworks and the many other presentations, I sometimes have to remind myself that the focus of this event is the hockey game itself.

Coach Red Berenson and his Wolverines have played outside before, but this event is special to all of our student-athletes since it's their game in their (big) house.

Yet, this event means so much more to the entire community than just the game. Youth hockey, high school hockey, Division III college teams and the U-M men's and women's club teams have been able to play in the Big House.

And when Saturday comes, our business community will benefit too. Hotels will be filled, restaurants will have overflow crowds, and the economic impact will be equal to a football weekend.

This is truly a great week for the Michigan Athletic Department, and we are proud to put on this event not only for our hockey team but our community.

I want to thank everyone who has played a special role in the Big Chill at the Big House.

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