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All Things Michigan

Michigan travels, events, photos, and more

Formal opening of Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor, October 22, 1927

Andrew Norton

Best if you view the full-size image The Big House was formally dedicated ,October 22, 1927, with Ohio State University as the unlucky opponent for the Maize and Blue that day. The University of Michigan Wolverines prevailed in the "dedication game" by a score of 21-0. Michigan's overall record for the 1927 season was 6-2 with both losses coming in-conference to Illinois (14-0) and Minnesota (13-7) [via Bentley Historical Library]

Among those in attendance on dedication day were "Bennie" and "Biff" the two live wolverine mascots Fielding Yost had acquired after a long search. For a number of years they were brought to the stadium for all the big games. The wolverines lived for a time at a small zoo near the Natural History Museum, but eventually became too vicious to remain on campus and were moved to the Detroit Zoo.

At the time of its completion, Michigan Stadium cost just under $1 million at $950,000 and had seating for only 72,000 compared to its capacity today of over 106,000. According to The Michigan Stadium Story - "Temporary wooden bleachers (that would, in fact, remain in place until 1949) had been erected around the top of the stadium to provide an additional 10,000 seats in anticipation of a capacity crowd." You can see these "temporary" bleachers in the bottom left and right of the photo.

When you view the full-size image you can see the players on the field (looks like they are lined up for kickoff), officials, and thousands of fedoras. I've been looking at this image all morning and have yet to see a fan in the stands without a hat or cap.

Aren't old photos great? Have a Happy Friday, everyone!