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June 30, 2008 - Image 15

Resource type:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2008-06-30

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Orientation Edition 2008
The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom


Michigan Stadium lawsuit settled
Big House will lose

status as biggest
football stadium for at
least two years
Mar. 11, 2008 - The University has
reached a settlement that ends the
lawsuit aver Michigan Stadium's
accessibility to disabled'fans - and,
for the time heing, will end the Big
House's reign as the largest football
stadium in the country.
The Michigan Paralyzed Veter-
ans of America agreed to drop the
lawsuit in return for a commitment
from the University to add more
wheelchair-accessible seating and
make changes to stadium facilities
like bathrooms and ramps no bring
them into compliance with the
Americans With Disabilities Act.
The $226 million stadium expan-
sion project, which will add struc-
tures containing luxury boxes and
club seating, will not be affected.
Before construction on the
expansion project began in Novem-
ber, Michigan Stadium had 92
wheelchair-accessible seats, all of
them located behind the north and
south end zones. The settlement
requires the stadium to have at least
329 wheelchair-accessible seats.
The various adjustments to the
stadium will cost about $2 million,
according to Gloria Hage, the Uni-
versity's interim vice president and
general counsel.
Because wheelchair-accessible
seats take up about 12 times as much
space as normal seats, the changes
will also drop the stadium's seat
capacity from 107,501 to an estimat-
ed 106,201 for the 2008 and 2009
seasons. That will make Michigan
Stadium the second-largest football
stadium in the country after Penn
State University's Beaver Stadium,
which holds 107,282.
University officials said they
don't know what the stadium's
capacity will be after the expansion
project and said they don't know
whether it will again become the
biggest. The project will add a total
of 5,100 seats, but some of the stadi-
um's existing seats will be removed
F to make room for the addition.
The pre-settlement project esti-
mate said the stadium's capacity
by the conclusion of the project in
2010 would cop 108,000, an addi-
tion of 500 seats from the start of
the project. But because today's

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The stadiam renoation project will cast $226 million and add structures containing laxury bones and clab sealing.

lacy Graca

Managing ditor

settlement will remove an esti-
mated 1,500 seats from the bowl,
it's unclear whether that will be
enough to make Michigan Stadium
the biggest again.,
"Over time, we again expect to
have the largest capacity of any
stadium in the country," Hage said.
"We have to wait until 2010 to see
how the new seating shakes out."
The settlemnnt moans thn University will
have In tarn somn bleacher snats into
wheelchair-accessihle seating. Thai
change means Michigan Stadium won't
he the largest toothall stadium in the
country Inc at least two years,
1075 01
The capacity ot the Big House up antil the
2007tfoothall season.
The capacity otthe Big [louse tor the nextitwo
foothall seasons.
The size of BeavercStadium at Penn State
University, which will overtake the Big House in
capacity until at least2010.

Under the terms ot the settlement, new wheelchair-accessible seatingmill he added,
By 2010, the Big House will have a total ot 329 wheelchair-accessible seats.
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Katie Jozwiak
inn English
Alison Thomas

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