Aug. 22, 2010
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Come Sept. 4 when University of Michigan football fans enter the renovated Michigan Stadium for the season-opening game with Connecticut, they will be in for a whole new Big House experience with more concession areas, expanded food offerings, a non-smoking environment and more room to move about.
When the gates open on that first Saturday in September, the first 25,000 fans also will receive a commemorative, recyclable Michigan Stadium Rededication bottle of Absopure spring water.
"We want our fans to know we have been reading their e-mails concerning bottled water, but we also want everyone to know that the newly renovated Michigan Stadium will provide a better experience for all fans," said Dave Brandon, Michigan's Director of Intercollegiate Athletics.
When the special 27-ounce bottles are all given away, the remainder of the 100,000-plus fans will still get a bottle of water to take to their seats. Vouchers will be given to those fans that they can redeem for a bottle of Absopure spring water at one of the many concession locations that serves beverages on the lower concourse.
In addition, fans are able to get complimentary water from one of four Absopure Hydration Stations, from one of 28 drinking fountains in the renovated stadium, or from any one of the 40 concession stands on opening day and throughout the season.
"The first-game water giveaway is an opportunity to alleviate concerns and allow fans to see for themselves that they will be able navigate the stadium grounds and find what they need to make their experience safe and fun," Brandon added.
The U-M Athletic Department continuously reviews fan experience and security procedures for patrons attending Michigan sporting events. This year, given increasing security concerns, including recent local incidents of bottle bombs and recommendations from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, a decision was made to restrict all bottles. The prohibition on water bottles precipitated some concern from U-M fans.
Brandon turned to U-M's 20-year partner, Absopure Water, for help on opening day to alleviate those concerns.
"Michigan and Absopure have had a great relationship," said Bill Young, president of the Michigan-based company. "When Dave (Brandon) called me, I thought this was a great idea and we can help. I believe the fans will appreciate the water and like the look of this new eco-friendly bottle."
The Michigan-Connecticut game will start at 3:30 p.m. and will be televised on ESPN.
- More than 50,000 gallons of Absopure Spring Water will be on site at the Rededication Game, more than a third of which will be given away.
- The water bottle giveaway will take place once the fans are inside the gates to ensure expedient entry into Michigan Stadium.
- Last year, there were four drinking fountains in Michigan Stadium. This year, there will be 28.
- Absopure Water, in partnership with its recycling affiliate Clean Tech, helped create a 'green' bottle with no label, made of 100% recyclable PET -- the most recyclable, and most recycled, plastic available.
- There are approximately 250 recycling bins around the Stadium for water and soda bottles as well as plastic cups.
- Absopure had been giving away complimentary spring water at Michigan Stadium since 1989.
- Eight of the nation's top 10 college venues prohibit fans from bringing water bottles into the stadium: Michigan Stadium: NO; Penn State-Beaver Stadium: NO; Tennessee-Neyland Stadium: NO; Ohio State-Ohio Stadium: NO; Alabama-Bryant Denny Stadium: NO; Texas-Darrel K Royal Stadium: NO; USC-Memorial Coliseum: YES; Georgia-Sanford Stadium: NO; UCLA-Rose Bowl: YES; LSU-Tiger Stadium: NO.