As a prominent team in the Big 10 Conference, the University of Michigan's Wolverines have heated rivalries with the Michigan State Spartans and the Ohio State Buckeyes. Outside of the Big 10 conference, the Wolverines’ rivalry with Notre Dame is legendary.
The Wolverines are one of the most respected teams in college sports, especially when it comes to football. The largest crowd ever at Michigan Stadium, 115,000, was for a football game against the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame. Michigan Stadium, also known as “The Big House,” is the largest stadium in the states and the second largest in the world, as the stadium has the capacity for 107,000 fans, which can be expanded to 115,000.
While fans are passionate about their team, there is currently no mascot, but that wasn’t always the case. Back in the 1920s, the team experimented with having two live wolverines at the stadium, Biff and Bennie, but they underestimated their size and viciousness. Plush mascots have shown up at games in the past, but the team celebrates its unique spirit without a current official mascot.
Instead, to show their pride, fans wear the famous Wolverine yellow, known as maize. Games, known as Maize-Outs, can turn Michigan Stadium into a yellow sea. While a passion for football is immense, Wolverines are competitive in other sports, especially basketball. On football game days, however, tailgating is where fans often start the day, and there are several parking lots for RVs.
With such a passionate fanbase, tickets tend to sell out fast for the University of Michigan's Wolverines. Prices may vary from one season to the next, but you can expect to find seats for under $100 and sometimes as low as $50. In previous seasons, the average price for a ticket has been around $110. Other than purchasing football tickets, you can opt for a basketball or baseball game. Tickets for basketball are more affordable and can be found for as low as $15.
The University of Michigan is in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and it’s near Detroit west of Lake Erie. Lansing is a few hours to the west, and Columbus, Ohio is a three-hour drive south. Other cities that may appear on your route to the area include Chicago, Illinois, Cleveland, Ohio and Indianapolis, Indiana. The University of Michigan’s Division of Public Safety and Security (DPSS) department recommends using the Waze app for game day driving directions.
When it comes to RV parking at Michigan Stadium, there are three options. A popular RV parking option for fans is at Pioneer High School, which is half a mile down the road from the stadium. Fans may reserve spots at Pioneer High School in advance, but first-come-first-serve gameday parking is available beginning the evening before games. Parking at the Brown Lot is cash only, and guests can stay from Saturday morning to midday Sunday. A Blue Lot RV permit is required to park at the Blue Lot, but these are not sold on game days; you'll have to buy a Blue Lot parking pass in advance.
To get to the stadium, fans may use the Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority’s (AAATA) shuttle service, which begins running two hours prior to kickoff and continues until one hour after the game ends. The AAATA shuttle picks up from various locations around the school and the City of Ann Arbor.
Pioneer High School allows fans who purchase their reserved parking passes to stay until midday Sunday. Fans who park at the Brown Lot may also stay until noon on Sunday. Staying overnight may be the best way to be close to the action. It’s best to fill up on supplies such as gas and water since amenities are not provided at either of these RV places to stay near Michigan Stadium.
For those who prefer a more comfortable stay, it might be a good idea to find a nearby campground. RV campgrounds in the area are plentiful, and the amenities provided will make your stay convenient and fun. South of Ann Arbor, you can find the Monroe Co./Toledo North KOA, which is half an hour from Michigan Stadium. This campground has many activities for the whole family, such as a lake and a water slide.
Football Ride Shuttles via the AAATA helps get Wolverine fans to and from Michigan Stadium for gameday activities. The AAATA also has many affordable bus routes that can take you around the city if you prefer to leave your RV at a campground. Once at the stadium, plan to join the crowds on foot for much of your day.
People in Michigan are usually accustomed to the cold, so it's not likely to stop a game. You’ll want to dress warmly to prepare for the freezing temperatures in the latter half of the football season. Apart from being comfortable, you’ll also want to sport your Wolverines gear. Pack all the maize-colored and blue clothing you can carry to support the team.
If you’re planning on hosting your own tailgate party, it’s best to come prepared. To grill up some burger and franks for your hungry guests, pack a grill. You’ll also want to bring a table to display your bounty and a few chairs as well. If you want to combat the cold, consider making a hot dish, such as chili or a spicy dip.
With crowds present and festivities underway, accidents can happen. A first-aid kit can help with small wounds or medical issues and prevent the day from being derailed. As always, make sure that you and your guests are drinking responsibly. If you’re grilling, make sure to keep an eye on the fire and keep a bucket of water nearby, just in case.
When cooking for guests, it’s always better to have too much than too little, so prepare for the occasion by stocking up at the local grocery store before gameday. Although Detroit is an hour away, your guests won’t complain if you make the famous Detroit Coney Dog, known for its chili, onion, and mustard toppings.
If you’re looking for dining options after the game, you’ll be happy to know that Ann Arbor restaurants do not disappoint in either their variety or price. Dine on typical Amerian fare, such as burgers and pizza, or be adventuresome with Korean, Japanese, and Mexican restaurants if you’d like to try something different.
Michigan Stadium provides concessions near each seating section for fans who are still peckish after the tailgate. Fans will be glad to know that Michigan Stadium has two merchandise stores, called M Den stores, where they can shop for Wolverines-branded clothing and gear. If you don’t have enough maize clothing on, this is your chance.
Capturing the game with a camera for personal use is allowed, but the camera’s lens must not be bigger than six inches. Selfie sticks and drones, however, are not allowed. The University of Michigan provides a full list of prohibited items. Re-entry is not allowed, except in the case of a medical emergency.
Ann Arbor is pretty much frozen from November to March, and it often snows often during the winter. Summers are warm and pleasant, with the average high temperature rarely exceeding 85 degrees. At the start of the football season, the temperature is usually perfect for outdoor festivities.
Outside of Wolverine Stadium, west of Gate 9, fans can find the first-aid building, which is where they should head for any medical assistance. There are medical professionals inside the stadium as well if you can’t make it outside. The stadium offers a lactation room, located in the upper concourse, for nursing mothers. This room has six private stations, and there is a TV in the room to help you catch every play of the game.