Home to the University of Michigan, Michigan Stadium, and nearby Eastern Michigan University, college sports have always been a point of excitement in Ann Arbor. As the air turns crisp and the green grass is trimmed, football season comes into view, and with its fans from all over the country. No college sport is more beloved in Ann Arbor, and for good reason. So if you’re planning to visit, either to support a student-athlete or just to see a great game, here’s our guide to football season in Ann Arbor:
If you’re watching a game at Michigan Stadium, there’s a good chance you’re here to cheer on the Michigan Wolverines. The Wolverines are the home team of the University of Michigan, playing in the East Division of the Big Ten Conference. Their season began on August 31, with a game against the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders which they won. A preseason poll by Cleveland.com slated the Wolverines to win the Big Ten Championship game for the current season.
If, however, you’re visiting Rynearson Stadium, you’ll find the Eastern Michigan Eagles, who compete in the Division I Football Superbowl Subdivision, as well as the Mid-American Conference. Their season also started August 31 when they won a game against the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers.
Michigan Stadium is often called “The Big House” for good reason. With an official capacity of 107,601, it’s the largest football stadium in the United States and the second-largest in the world — with the largest being Rungrado 1st of May Stadium in Pyongyang, North Korea. Despite the official capacity, the Big House has in fact hosted crowds of more than 115,000 at points. In addition to hosting football games, The Big House is used to host the University of Michigan graduations. Rynearson Stadium in Ypsilanti holds crowds of about 30,200 and has hosted games since 1969. It’s named for a decorated former coach at Eastern Michigan University, Elton J. Rynearson, who coached for 26 seasons.
“Etiquette” and “football” aren’t often used in the same sentence. After all, a football game is a rowdy occasion, with screaming, exuberant fans and emotions running high. But if you haven’t attended a game before, there are a few things you want to keep in mind. While it’s great and encouraged to jump out of your seat and cheer at the big moments like an epic touchdown, or even the disappointments, you do want to make sure to sit back down. No one wants to sit behind a fan who stands for most of the game. Check the weather to dress appropriately for the game — you’ll probably be outside for a while. Drink responsibly and don’t chest bump strangers whose boundaries you don’t know. Finally, if yelling at the ref is something you need to do for your own sake, it’s up to you but keep in mind — the refs don’t care, and shouting at them won’t change their decision.
Looking for a place to stay as a college football fan? University Inn of Ann Arbor offers discounts for team sports parents of both the University of Michigan and Eastern Michigan University as well as a 10% discount to college-bound students and parents visiting the University of Michigan when you book ahead of time. Contact us today for more information.