If you’re attending a University of Michigan football game for the first time it’s nice to know what to expect ahead of time so that you can have a great experience.
I’m sharing pre and post game tips to help you have the best game day.
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Get to Ann Arbor Early for the Pre Game Activities and Tailgating!
There is a lot to see and do near Michigan Stadium several hours before the big game starts.
You also want to have plenty of time to park, grab a pre game meal/ drink, and find your seat once inside the stadium.
I would recommend arriving at least 1.5-3 hours before game time if you want to experience the energetic atmosphere in downtown Ann Arbor on game day.
My family also likes to watch the players warm up before the game.
Where to Park for University of Michigan Football Game
There are several University of Michigan football parking lots to choose from on game day.
*Use the Parking Guide to Find the Cheapest Parking Near Michigan Stadium on Game Day
I’m all about saving on parking so that we can spend our money on other fun things like food and drinks. We wanted to best value within a reasonable walk of the stadium.
We found parking for $20 at the University of Michigan driving range part of the University of Michigan golf course (500 E Stadium Blvd, Ann Arbor, MI.)
Our parking space was in the grass and we didn’t care because it wasn’t a long walk to the stadium. It only took between 5-10 minutes to the stadium from our parking spot.
Pioneer High School (601 W Stadium Blvd, Ann Arbor, MI) is another popular option located between the golf course and the stadium.
Tailgating is permitted immediately around the vehicle. You can check their tailgate rules here.
TheRide’s Football Shuttle Service to the University of Michigan Stadium
If you prefer to not deal with parking you can take TheRide’s Football shuttle to the stadium. The fare is only $1.50 each way and runs approximately every 20 minutes starting 2 hours before the game.
Passengers can park at one of the boarding locations for the shuttle listed here.
*Take note that the last shuttles depart 30 minutes before the game and the return shuttle run for 1 hour after each game.
Tailgating Before a Michigan Football Game
If/ how you tailgate before the big game comes down to your preferences. There are plenty of tailgating options around Ann Arbor from pretty basic setups to high end.
If you prefer to purchase food and drinks instead of packing them there are local bars and public tailgates too.
Catch a Glimpse of the Football Players Before the Game
On game day, football coaches and players leave Schembechler Hall and ride team buses with a police escort to Michigan Stadium.
This is a chance for Michigan fans to catch a glimpse of their favorite players before they board the buses for the game. This usually takes places about 2 1/2 hours before game time.
The buses will be parked on State Street alongside Schembechler Hall.
Watch the Pre Game Marching Band Show and Parade
After watching the players board the buses, walk North on State Street to Hoover Ave, turn left (West) and walk down to Ravelli Hall.
The Michigan Marching Band percussion show takes place on the steps in front of the Hall.
Here is a sample schedule for a noon game time
- 10:30am – Percussion Step Show in front of Revelli Hall
- 11:05am – Revelli Exit and parade to Michigan Stadium
- 11:45am – “Baaaaand, Take the Field!”
- 12:00pm – Kickoff
Afterwards you can watch the band parade to Michigan Stadium.
The police will close the streets down for the band and fans.https://michiganmarchingband.com/game-day
You Can See the Marching Band After the Game Too
If you missed the marching band parade before the game you still have a chance to see them after the game.
About half an hour after the game ends, the band has another parade out of Michigan Stadium back to Revelli Hall, on the same route that they take before the game.
How Big is the “The Big House”
The Big House AKA University of Michigan Stadium is the largest stadium in the United States and has a seating capacity of 107, 601. Often times the attendance will exceed 110,000 people for rivalry games and other significant games.
University of Michigan football games are definitely an experience! The stadium is deceptively larger than it looks from street level.
What’s even more incredible is that Michigan Stadium has seating capacity of over 25,000 more than the large stadium in the NFL!
Where is the University of Michigan Stadium Located?
The University of Michigan Stadium is located at 1201 S Main St, Ann Arbor, MI.
When Do the Gates Open for a Football Game at Michigan Stadium?
Michigan Stadium gates are open two hours prior to kickoff. If you have seats in one of the Suites or Club Level Areas you can enter two and one-half hours prior to kickoff.
What Can You Bring Into the University of Michigan Football Stadium?
You can bring the following items into Michigan Stadium:
- Foam seat pads
- Small non-pocket seat cushions without storage slots
- Binoculars– cases are NOT permitted
- Cell phones
- Small cameras with a lens shorter than 6 inches and radios
- Blankets and rain apparel (rain jackets and ponchos ) *Umbrellas are NOT permitted
- Walking canes
*You CAN’T bring any type of water bottle or bag into the stadium so plan accordingly.
How to Dress for the University of Michigan Game
I would recommend dressing in layers for the game. Michigan weather can be pretty unpredictable.
Depending on where your seats are you could be in the sun or the shade for the majority of the game.
You’ll also want to double check if your selected home game is a “Maize Out” where all of the fans wear primarily yellow instead of blue to the game.
Night games can get chilly so plan accordingly. A blanket can always double as an extra layer too.
Don’t Miss the University of Michigan Marching Band Half Time Show
The University of Michigan marching band puts on an incredible half time show. I would try to avoid going to the concession stands during that time if you can.
How to Get University of Michigan Football Tickets
If you want to purchase tickets from a third party I would recommend going to a reputable site for University of Michigan Wolverines football tickets.
Most of these sites have service fees at the end of your transaction with the exception of TickPick that tells you the fee upfront. We typically compare prices on multiple sites to get the best value and best deals.
The prices for tickets can vary depending on who they are playing. Pricier games are against the Ohio State Buckeyes, Notre Dame Fighting Irish, and the Michigan State Spartans.
Where is the Student Section at Michigan Stadium?
As a heads up, the student section is located in sections 25-33R which means that you will be standing the whole game if you have tickets in the student section.
I would also recommend checking their calendar for the annual Michigan football spring game that’s free for fans to attend.
Where to See Players After the Game
Most coaches and players leave from the back side of Michigan Stadium (between the stadium and the Chrisler Center), or from the NE entrance of the Chrisler Center.
This is a great place to try to get an autograph or a picture of your favorite player. Your best chance of seeing them is usually about a half hour or so after the game.
Visit a Local Brewery Or Restaurant in Ann Arbor
While you’re in the Ann Arbor area, I’d recommend checking out a local brewery or restaurant.
Local Bars and Breweries to check out in Ann Arbor:
- Ashley’s – 338 South State St., Ann Arbor, MI
- Fraser’s Pub – 2045 Packard St, Ann Arbor, MI
- Grizzly Peak Brewing Company – 120 W Washington St, Ann Arbor, MI
- Jolly Pumpkin Cafe and Brewery – 311 S Main St, Ann Arbor, MI
- Wolverine State Brewing Company – 2019 W Stadium Blvd, Ann Arbor, MI
Popular local restaurants in Ann Arbor:
- Zingerman’s Deli – 422 Detroit St, Ann Arbor, MI
- The Brown Jug – 1204 S University Ave, Ann Arbor, MI
- Eat Catering and Carry Out – 1906 Packard St., Ann Arbor, MI
- Benny’s Family Dining – 1952 S. Industrial Way, Ann Arbor, MI
- Krazy Jim’s Blimpy Burger – 304 S Ashley St., Ann Arbor, MI
- Holiday’s Restaurant – 2080 W. Stadium Boulevard, Ann Arbor, MI
- Biercamp – 1643 S State St., Ann Arbor, MI
- The Pretzel Bell – 226 S Main St, Ann Arbor, MI
- The Original Cottage Inn – 512 E William St, Ann Arbor, MI
- Pizza House – 618 Church St, Ann Arbor, MI
Drink and Dine at HOMES Brewery
2321 Jackson Ave, Ann Arbor, MI
This brewery is a great option for incredible food, brews and sours.
The menu has a lot of Asian fusion options which is refreshing if you want to try non-traditional bar food.
The Korean Wings are a great option for wing fans.
We tried the Blueberry sour and Propshene- hazy IPA. As a non-beer fan, I LOVED that they offered sours.
Their menu items were also a hit with our whole family.
We tried the Beef Bigogi Fries and the Tuna poke bowl.
Enjoy a Sweet Treat at Washtenaw Dairy
602 S Ashley St, Ann Arbor, MI
Of course, Ice cream is always a great option after a big game.
My husband and I still talk about their toasted coconut chip ice cream pictured above. It was soo good!
Our boys were happy with their selections of Birthday cake and Peanut Butter Brownie Crunch.
There is some seating outside and there is a parking lot across the street for customers to use if you can’t find street parking nearby.
Where to Stay for a University of Michigan Game
Which hotel to book a stay at for a University of Michigan football game comes down to what’s important to you.
If you are a bit of a procrastinator when it comes to booking a hotel, I’d recommend booking your hotel through a deal site.
For this specific trip, we didn’t mind being a little farther from campus because we only used a hotel for 1 night after the game.
We knew that Hampton Inn is pretty consistent so we booked at the Hampton Inn Ann Arbor-South located 2.5 miles from the stadium.
A lot of out of towners leave after the game unless it’s a night game.
Save on Your Hotel Stay
Use the map above to find the best deal for your hotel stay in Ann Arbor, Michigan.