UM Regents Approve Stadium Blvd. Marquee

Installation of a $2.8 million marquee – located at Michigan Stadium, adjacent to the Crisler Center and visible from East Stadium Boulevard – was approved by the University of Michigan board of regents at their July 19, 2012 meeting.

UM athletics director David Brandon spoke briefly to describe the project. Calling it an exciting communications tool, he indicated that it’s not uncommon to find this kind of marquee at other institutions. The marquee will be used to display video, graphics, logos and other images to highlight upcoming events, programs, accomplishments and initiatives of the UM athletic department and its student athletes. [map showing location of marquee (yellow dot)] [view of marquee looking east on E. Stadium Boulevard] [view of marquee from intersection of Main and Stadium]

It will be located inside Gate 2 at the southeast corner of Michigan Stadium, elevated 21 feet off the ground. The marquee itself will be 27 feet tall and 48 feet wide. Brandon noted that it will be located across from a golf course – the Ann Arbor Golf & Outing Club – ”so it won’t annoy anyone.” [A residential area is located to the west of the stadium, across Main Street, as well as to the north.] The audio features will be used primarily on game days to communicate with the crowds, he said.

Regent Andy Richner asked about traffic volumes along Main Street. Brandon replied that although the marquee is visible from the intersection of Main and Stadium, it’s primarily intended for the heavy traffic of Stadium Boulevard. Brandon noted that the west side of Michigan Stadium is built to the sidewalk on Main Street, so there’s no room for this kind of sign on that side.

Regent Denise Ilitch told Brandon that she supported the project, but she had received emails from some “less than enthusiastic” people. She encouraged him to consider including information from local nonprofits or other community events, so that people will feel that it’s part of the community.

Brandon was less than enthusiastic about that idea, but said they would certainly consider it. There are literally hundreds of nonprofits that would love to get access to the Michigan Stadium crowds, he said, and the athletics staff would need to be careful about how to manage that. The investment is being made on behalf of UM fans and athletics, he said.

TMP Architecture will design the marquee, and installation is expected by the fall of 2013.

The university is not required to conform with city code. Chapter 61 of the city code – regulating signs and outdoor advertising – prohibits signs of that are the size and placement of the Michigan Stadium marquee. The ordinance also prohibits signs that “incorporate in any manner or are illuminated by any flashing or moving lights other than for conveyance of noncommercial information which requires periodic change.”

This report was filed from the Michigan Union’s Rogel ballroom, where the board held its July meeting.


  1. By john floyd
    July 20, 2012 at 10:52 pm | permalink

    The idea that the U should be free from academic interference makes sense, the idea that the U is a law unto itself, and need not cosider the commu nity in which it exists, seems a tad excessive.

  2. By Rod Johnson
    July 21, 2012 at 10:55 am | permalink

    It’s a billboard, only worse. Just tacky.