During the 1920’s, the nation saw a rise in the number of new stadiums being built on college campuses. In 1925 the University of Michigan joined this boom when construction began for what would become Michigan Stadium. The Michigan Board in Control of Athletics sold bonds for $500 to pay for construction. The buyers could then purchase season tickets for every season between 1927 and 1936 (mgoblue/genrel).

Approximately sixteen acres and 119 city lots were acquired on South Main Street. The site formed a gentle slope so a bowl type structure was chosen. The sides of the structure were parallel to the playing field and that way the fans were much closer to the side lines. This provided for the best possible viewing of the game (umhistory).

The construction effort was was spearheaded by former football player, coach and athletic director Fielding Yost. By the end of construction, the stadium could host over 80,000 fans. The final cost was $950,000. General admission tickets cost $3. On its first game, played on October 1, 1927, the Wolverines crushed Ohio Wesleyan, 33-0. Bennie and Biff, the live wolverine mascots, entered the stadium carried by eight men in suits and hats. Three weeks later, their team defeated Ohio State just as easily, 21-0 (bentley).

In 1930, electronic boards were installed, making it the first stadium to use such devices for official game time (mogul/genrel). In 1950, a bronze statue of an eagle over a granite pedestal was unveiled as a memorial to University of Michigan World War II casualties at a cost of $16,000 (bentley). By 1956, the stadium could host 101,001 spectators. As of 2014, over 109,000 fans can root for the Wolverines at the Big House (mgoblue/facilities).


Fielding Yost

Bennie and Biff

Bennie and Biff


Original electronic scoreboard

Original electronic scoreboard


University of Michigan World War II Memorial




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