University of Michigan Football Game Day Tips

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.

University of Michigan football game at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor Michigan

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Michigan fans entering  Michigan Stadium

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.

teenagers at University of Michigan game

My family also likes to watch the players warm up before the game.

parking at University of Michigan golf course

Where to Park for the 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.

tailgating before University of Michigan game

Pioneer High School (601 W Stadium Blvd, Ann Arbor, MI) is another popular option located between the golf course and the stadium.

Tailgating at Pioneer High School Ann Arbor

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 runs for 1 hour after each game.

tailgate before University of Michigan 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.

Don’t forget your portable grill, cooler, and some tailgate games!

If you prefer to purchase food and drinks instead of packing them there are local bars and public tailgates too.

University of Michigan football players

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.

University of Michigan football players

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 place about 2 1/2 hours before game time.

University of Michigan football players

The buses will be parked on State Street alongside Schembechler Hall.

 University of Michigan marching band

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
University of Michigan pre game parade

Afterward, you can watch the band parade to Michigan Stadium.

The police will close the streets down for the band and fans. You can check out the game day schedule here.

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. 

Scoreboard at University of Michigan 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 a seating capacity of over 25,000 more than the largest stadium in the NFL!

family outside University of Michigan stadium

Where is the University of Michigan Stadium Located?

The University of Michigan Stadium is located at 1201 S Main St, Ann Arbor, MI.

inside University of Michigan stadium

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.

University of Michigan football game

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.

family at University of Michigan game

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.

teenagers at University of Michigan game

The M Den is the official retailer of Michigan Athletics if you want to purchase gear online before the game. There is also a lot of University of Michigan apparel and swag on Amazon.

Night games can get chilly so plan accordingly. A blanket can always double as an extra layer too.

 University of Michigan marching band

Don’t Miss the University of Michigan Marching Band Half Time Show

The University of Michigan marching band puts on an incredible halftime show. I would try to avoid going to the concession stands during that time if you can.

University of Michigan stadium

How to Get University of Michigan Football Tickets

You can check the University of Michigan website for single game, family packs, group tickets, season tickets, and special promotions.

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.

A few of our favorites for games are StubHub, Seat Geek, Gametime, and TickPick.

Most of these sites have service fees at the end of your transaction with the exception of TickPick which 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.

Students with football player at University of Michigan

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.

HOMES Brewery Ann Arbor Michigan

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:

Popular Local Restaurants in Ann Arbor:

HOMES Brewery Ann Arbor Michigan

Drink and Dine at HOMES Brewery

2321 Jackson Ave, Ann Arbor, MI

HOMES Brewery Ann Arbor Michigan

This brewery is a great option for incredible food, brews, and sours.

HOMES Brewery Ann Arbor Michigan

The menu has a lot of Asian fusion options which is refreshing if you want to try non-traditional bar food.

Korean wings at HOMES Brewery Ann Arbor Michigan

The Korean Wings are a great option for wing fans.

beers at HOMES Brewery Ann Arbor Michigan

We tried the Blueberry Sour and Propshene- hazy IPA. As a non-beer fan, I LOVED that they offered sours.

beef Bigogi fries at HOMES Brewery Ann Arbor Michigan
Beef Bigogi Fries

Their menu items were also a hit with our whole family.

tuna poke bowl at HOMES Brewery Ann Arbor Michigan
Tuna poke bowl

We tried the Beef Bigogi Fries and the Tuna poke bowl.

Washtenaw Dairy Ann Arbor Michigan

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.

Thrillist Rated Washtenaw Dairy as One of the “21 Best Old-School Ice Cream Shops in America.”

toasted coconut ice cream at Washtenaw Dairy

My husband and I still talk about their toasted coconut chip ice cream pictured above. It was sooo good!

ice cream at Washtenaw Dairy Ann Arbor

Our boys were happy with their selections of Birthday cake and Peanut Butter Brownie Crunch.

Washtenaw Dairy Ann Arbor

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.

room at Hampton Inn Ann Arbor-South

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.

room at Hampton Inn Ann Arbor-South

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.

University of Michigan Football Game Day Tips

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