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July 31, 2014 - Image 4

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Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2014-07-31
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Thursday, July 31, 2014
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
}t Mid igan ai
Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan since 1890.
420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
tathedaily@umith.edu

Thursday, July 31, 2014 "'CflYf T C
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com r i

I am committed to finding
avenues for shared interests with
University of Michigan leadership
and I believe economic growth is
one of them:'
- Ann Arbor Democratic mayoral candidate Sally Petersen
on city relations with the University.

The Brand: Michigan Stadium
notjust aboutfootball

IAN DILLINGHAM
EDITOR IN CHIEF

AARICA MARSH
EDITORIAL PAGE EDITOR

STEPHANIE SHENOUDA
MANAGING EDITOR

Unsigned editorials reflect theofficial position of the Daily's editorial board.
All other signed articles and illustrations represent solely the views of their authors.

Vote Petersen for Democratic Mayoral Primary
The editorial board endorses Sally Petersen due to her vocal support about improving relations with the University
The Ann Arbor Democratic Primary election for the Democratic mayoral candidate will be held Tuesday,
Aug. 5. Currently, there are four candidates running for the Democratic spot on November's ballot:
Councilmembers Sabra Briere (D-Ward 1), Sally Hart Petersen (D-Ward 2), Christopher Taylor (D-Ward
3) and Stephen Kunselman (D-Ward 3). The winner of next week's primary will face independent candidate
Bryan Kelly Nov. 4 in the election for city mayor, where a democratic candidate - John Hieftje - has won
the election for the past seven terms. While many University students pay little attention to city politics, the
upcoming mayoral election is important for everyone residing in Ann Arbor whether they live here permanently
or temporarily, like many students.

et'sbe honest: The Inter-
national Champions Cup
match between Real
Madrid and Manchester United
at Michigan
Stadium is a
money grab
for the Ath-
letic Depart-
ment, and
it's a way for r
Michigan to
keep build-
ing the brand ALEJANDRO
that Dave ZUNIGA
Brandon so
dearly cher-
ishes.
On Saturday, the world's largest
collegiate stadium will welcome
legends of the world's most
popular sport. The game will be
showcased on national television.
It will likelybreak an attendance
record for a United States-based
soccer match.
It's futbol, not football, and it's
certainly not part of any long-
standing Michigan tradition.
From the Athletic Department's
standpoint, it's an event whose
merit can be justified almost
entirely in economic gain.
The International Champions
Cup joins rising seat donation
requirements, alternate uniforms,
and weddings and proms at the
Big House as additional means for
profit. And for that reason, it has
been subject to criticism.
But for those willing to dive
into the history books, the event
- or any that might follow - isn't
so unusual. Fielding Yost, the
mastermind behind Michigan
Stadium, built the venue for the
enthusiasm it could bring, but also
the financial impact it would have
on the University.
Profit-based decisions are
nothing new.
How's this for breaking
tradition? In 1929, 1930 and 1931,
Yost approved doubleheaders at
the Big House to boost revenue.
Before Michigan Stadium
opened in 1927, the Wolverines
competed at Ferry Field. Despite
regular bumps in capacity,
increasing demand forced the
University to turn away thousands
of hopeful spectators, leading The
Michigan Alumnus, the Alumni
Association newsletter to wonder
about a replacement.

"We shall soon needa stadium
like the one at Harvard," they
wrote in a 1905 editorial.
After Yost became Athletic
Director in 1921, he shared plans
for a successor to Ferry Field that
could act as the permanenthome
of Michigan football. He imagined
that the Athletic Department
would profit and that revenue
would help create facilities for all
University students.
In a 1922 issue of The Michigan
Alumnus, Yost wrote that "good
years financially have put
athletics on a sound basis" for
new stadiums elsewhere, and
the editors of the publication
were enthused about the Athletic
Director's vision.
"We believe in the new
University stadium," they wrote..
"They are designed, in fact, to pay
for themselves."
But the Board of Regents
disagreed and rejected Yost's idea.
A committee appointed by
interim President Alfred H. Lloyd
in 1925 detailed whyUniversity
administrators were ambivalent
about upgrading the football
facilities. Unlike Yost, who
thought that athletics taught
valuable lessons in character, the
committee warned that sports
distracted from academics.
"Intercollegiate athletics,
notably football, have been so
largely developed, that other
interests - athletic as well as
scholarly - have fallen behind,"
they detailed in the "Report on
University Athletics" in January
1926. "Intercollegiate athletics
appear to have grown out of all
proportion to the importance of
the purposes which they serve."
But the five-man committee
agreed that Ferry Field was
unsatisfactory and unsafe, and
urged the commencement of a
new stadium.
Yost had his approval but
needed funding, so he headed
Michigan's original seat
donation program. In exchange
for purchasing a $500 bond at
3-percent interest, interested
alumni and residents of the state
could buy season ticketsbetween
the 30-yard lines.
After significant prodding,
enough people invested, and in
1927, Michigan Stadium hosted
its first game. The Wolverines

finished 3-2 in the Big Ten that
year, but Yost boasted publicly
about the earnings.
"So far as I can see the dollars
of football are providing funds
for plant and equipment to all
the non-football competitive
teams ... and also are providing
opportunity for all members of
the student body," he wrote in
a commentary titled "Football
Profits Defended" tothe
Associated Press on Dec. 9,1927.
"If this is commercialism in sport
- if this is high finance in football
- I am glad to be numbered
among those who have some part
in its development"
Yost envisioned Michigan
Stadium as a necessary solution
to a growing sport, but he also
understood it asa money-making
tool.
In 1930, he implemented
in Michigan Stadium the first
electronic scoreboard used to
keep official time at football
games. In the late 1960s, then-
Athletic Director Don Canham
began slappingthe block 'M' on
merchandise in a successful effort
to expand Michigan's brand. In
2011, the Big House toppled an
attendance record, hosting its first
official night game.
And in 2014, it will welcome
Real Madrid and Manchester
United during the International
Champions Cup.
Yost knew Michigan football
and Michigan Stadium would sell,
and he used the resulting profits
to his advantage. His vision
resulted in the Intramural Sports
Building (opened in 1928) and the
Michigan Golf Course (1931).
More than 50 years later, the
Athletic Department will again
maximize revenue from Yost's
Big House, this time leveraging
International Champions Cup
earnings to provide academic
scholarships for students and
fund improvements to the
Wolverines' soccer facilities.
The rest will help the Athletic
Department record a 13th
consecutive year with a surplus.
That's commercialism in sport,
and Yost would be proud to have
made his contribution.
- Zdiiga can be reached
at azs@umich.edu or on
Twitter @the_zuniga.

Each of the four Democratic
Primary candidates have served
on the Ann Arbor City Council,
ranging from two to seven years.
Similarly, current mayor John
Hieftje supports each of the
candidates to varying degrees.
Sabra Briere has been active in
the Ann Arbor community for more
than thirty years and has served on
City Council since 2007. Briere's
platform emphasizes general
improvements to the city. She also
supports increased inclusivity, and
creating stronger transparency
between residents and city
officials. Incorporating inclusivity
isn't a surprise for Briere, a
candidate well known for listening
to residents' issues within the city.
While open communication is
desirable, her communication skills
haven't efficiently translated into

fruitful solutions to issues. Briere
hasn't provided tangible solutions
for improving unity between
the University and the city.
Furthermore, The Michigan Daily
noted in 2009 that her housing
viewpoints differ from the notion
that students need more affordable
housing. While Briere stresses her
listening skills, she hasn't always
listened to student needs.
Stephen Kunselman has been
a big proponent for off-campus
student housing by promoting
increased options and decreased
costs. He also wants increased
public safety by adding more police
officers to the Ann Arbor Police
Department. Being an Ann Arbor
native and a University alumni,
he has a strong understanding of
both the city and the University.
However. Kunselman has stated

that he sees no distinction between
students and Ann Arbor residents.
While this statement is likely
an effort to reflect neutrality, it
instead indicates that Kunselman
fails to see the difference between
students and residents, despite
the reality that both groups have
different needs.
Christopher Taylor has
provided consistency in increasing
transportation for all city residents
by being the only candidate to give
support for the expansion of Ann
Arbor Transit Authority bus lines.
He has been a strong advocate for
creatingmethods to keep University
graduates living and working in
Ann Arbor. Taylor, along with
Peterson, believes reaching out to
the student population about their
needs falls on the responsibility
of the city rather than students.

Unfortunately, Taylor, like Briere,
has no solid plan for improving
relations between the Ann Arbor
and the University.
Graduating with a Harvard
business degree, Sally Hart
Petersen emphasizes solutions to
problems by viewing them with an
economic frame. She's emphasized
more affordable housing, and one of
her biggest concerns is improving
the city's revenue problem. She's
also opposed policies hurting
the University, like a University
payment outside of taxation bounds.
Instead, Petersen emphasizes
creating more open communication
between the University and the
city to discuss important issues.
While Petersen's economic focus is
oftentimes beneficial, prioritizing
the city's finances can sometimes
be cause for concern. She voted

against fossil fuel divestment due
to its negative influence on citizen's
pensions, suggesting the city invest
in green energy instead. While
this vote reaps economic benefits,
it subsequently brings to light
other concerns. Petersen also has
the least experience out of all the
candidates, finishing her second
term on City Council in November,
but, if elected, will have twice the
experience of current mayor John
Hieftje when he was elected.
This year, The Michigan Daily's
editorial board endorses SALLY
HART PETERSEN for the
Ann Arbor Mayoral Democratic
Primary. Given the intricate
balance between the University
and the city, Petersen prioritizing
Ann Arbor's finances proves an
effective bridge to unify both forces
acting on the town.

Interested in talking about your opinions and then subsequently having them shut down?
Join The Michigan Daily's opinion staff for the Fall 2074 semester. Email tothedaily@umich.edu for more info.

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