Sports

Notre Dame Game Expected To Break Michigan-UConn Attendance Record At ‘Big House’

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Michigan Stadium (hamus/Getty Images Sport)

Michigan Stadium (hamus/Getty Images Sport)

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By LARRY LAGE,  AP Sports

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) _ Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon has a lot of spots to put people at the Big House, from front-row seats in the 109,901-seat stadium to standing room-only spots in luxurious suites.

Brandon wishes he had more for the prime-time game– the first at Michigan Stadium– against Notre Dame on Saturday night.

A lot more.

“I really believe we easily could sell another 25,000 to 50,000 tickets,” Brandon said. “There are people angry that they can’t get a ticket. There’s just nothing left and communicating that with people is tough when you have such a large venue. We’re selling every square inch of the stadium that we can put somebody.

“I haven’t been around for all of our 132 seasons of Michigan football, but in my time as a player, a fan, ticket-holder, regent and as an athletic director I’ve never seen anything like it.”

Brandon fully expects to break the NCAA regular-season attendance record set by the Wolverines with 113,090 last year
against Connecticut.

“I think we may have room for 115,000,” he said.

Tickets with a face value of $85 were available still available Tuesday morning StubHub, an online vendor with a secondary-market agreement with the school, offering them from $219 to $3,500 each.

A StubHub spokeswoman said the company had sold about 4,000 tickets– ranging in price from $125 for a single ticket to $5,000 for four tickets on a sideline –with about 2,000 available.

Steve Larson, who works in New York and lives in nearby Connecticut, has been watching the market for the tickets since
buying a pair of end zone seats on StubHub for $219 in May. He bought two more last week, on the 40-yard line, for $325 each.

“I’m about numb to high-priced tickets as a season-ticket holder for the Yankees, but I kept waiting for the price to come down and they haven’t,” said Larson, whose wife went to Notre Dame and whose daughter is a senior at the school.

“That doesn’t even happen for Yankees games with the exception of maybe a matchup with the Red Sox. I’m a big college football fan, who has never been to the Big House, and I can’t wait to see this game.”

“I just wish it wasn’t a night game.”

Brandon, other school officials, campus and Ann Arbor Police Department and local residents are bracing for the worst, seeking 350 volunteers to serve in the area as “community ambassadors” to answer questions and report problems to the police. They are hoping the first night game at the big stadium doesn’t mean fans will use the opportunity for all-day binge drinking.

“We don’t have to be too subtle about it,” Brandon said.

“It’s a Saturday night and it starts at 8 o’clock. People have all day to kind of celebrate and prepare for this momentous occasion. The people that we’re worried about is the people who overcelebrate and start their partying too early.”

     (Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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