Big House Open House: July 14

Want to see the newly-renovated Michigan Stadium up close before the season starts? If you’re around Ann Arbor next Wednesday, you’re in luck — here’s the press release announcing the July 14 open house, which will run all day from 6 am to 8 pm:

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — With the start of the college football season just two months away, the University of Michigan will open the doors to Michigan Stadium on Wednesday, July 14, to showcase the renovations to one of college football’s greatest stadiums. The one-day event will run between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m.

“The Michigan Stadium renovation is something our entire athletic department is proud of,” said U-M Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Dave Brandon. “I want to invite the public to see what was envisioned and how it all came together. It is spectacular.”

The east side structure will be open to the public, and the only accessible entry point will be on the south side of the stadium through Gate 2. Once inside, fans will proceed to the steps or elevators in the southeast tower to gain access to the structure. There will be no access to the east side upper concourse, east side lower concourse or west side structure. Free parking will be available at Pioneer High School.

After three years of construction, the $226 million project is scheduled to be completed next month. Among the improvements are wider seats and aisles with handrails on the east side, allowing for better traffic flow in the aisles. There are also elevated concourses with additional restrooms and concessions on both sidelines. There are buildings at both the north and south ends of the stadium that house additional restrooms, concessions and public safety services, as well as a new press box on the west side, and four towers (one at each corner of the stadium) with elevators and wide stairways for access to the new concourses and premium seating areas.

In addition, there is added seating on both the east and west side of the stadium. The west side will feature 650-plus chairback seats and 46 suites split across the first two levels. On the east side, there will be around 1,900 outdoor club seats, 250 indoor club seats and 850 covered club seats, with stadium lounges on the first and second level of the structure. There will also be 36 suites on the third level. With the added seats, Michigan Stadium will become the largest college football venue in the country again.

The Wolverines open the 2010 football season on Saturday, Sept. 4, against Connecticut. Kickoff is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. and will be televised regionally by ABC with the remainder of the country outside the regional viewing area getting the game on ESPN2.

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