The Michigan Daily - SportsTuesday - September 8, 1998- 21A
Kids, fans have good 'Experience'
before watching loss at Crisler ,
By Jon Zemke
Daily Sports Writer
At 11 o'clock on a hot Saturday
ru ing, dozens of young kids ran
h ugh the gates and into the carni-
ral-like atmosphere of the "Michigan
These children scampered through
he empty parking lot just east of the
unnel leading into Michigan
Stadium. They bounced on a moon-
valk and attached themselves to
valls with Velcro body suits. There
vere even trees to provide shade for
,We Experience preceded the
flowing of the Michigan-Notre
)ame football game on Crisler
krena's newly-refitted scoreboards.
The kids' event was free and open
o the public, while the showing of
he game was free for students and
10 for the general public.
The many student athletes present
t the event thrilled the kids.
thletes walked around and met
ans, helped out with the games
r signed autographs under a large
"All teams that aren't traveling are
ere today," Tom Brooks, the sales
promotion coordinator for the athlet-
ic department, said. "It's a big P.R.
vehicle. We want to create a lot of
awareness for all of our sports."
With some of the high-revenue
sport athletes on the road, most of
the attention was centered on lesser-
publicized sports and the athletes
who participate in them.
Along with meeting the athletes
and receiving their autographs, the
kids could choose from a large
assortment of free posters and sched-
ules featuring the teams.
"It's a great experience to affiliate
the sports with the fans," said Stacey
Thomas, a junior on the women's
basketball team. "It's a great chance
to learn about the sports and the peo-
Also open to the public was
Michigan Stadium and children were
allowed to run through the tunnel into
the stadium. After a summer of con-
struction, the University used the
opportunities to show off its newly
remodeled stadium to the public.
The most-anticipated features of
the new stadium are the two huge
scoreboards with replay screens.
In addition to the screens, the nev
boards will show updated stats.
The new sound system thundered
away while the highlight tape from
last year's national championship
season was played on the video
"It's very good," 6-year-old Evan
Althouse from Chelsea said.
"I can't wait," said Evan's eight-
year-old brother, Drew, said. The two
will be going to the games this sea-
son, Drew said.
The screens used on the score-
boards are the same type of screens
used to show Saturday's football
game to more than 3,000 spectators
watching in Crisler Arena.
The attendance wasn't the 10,000
people that the athletic department
had expected, but the lack of atten-
Jance wasn't a problem. A large part
of the crowd was made up of first-
The spectacle of Michigan coaches
giving speeches on the newly refin-
ished basketball floor and the pres-
ence of the alumni band and the
cheerleaders helped turn the event
into a success.
Now, if only the football team had
Ypsilanti's Matt Brown (right), 12, knocks down men's gymnastics team junior Tim Dehr at the Michigan Experience outside
Crisier Arena on Saturday. The Experience featured representatives from many Michigan teams.
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