The University Record, August 13, 2001

U-M football fans are passionate about game-day experience

Fans follow the action intently at Michigan Stadium. (Photo by Bill Wood, U-M Photo Services)
From the Department of Athletics

The passion and loyalty of Michigan football fans was underscored by the results of a game-day fan experience survey of season ticket holders taken earlier this year by the Department of Athletics.

“Just how much Michigan football means to our fans was reflected in the 64 percent response rate for the survey,” says William C. Martin, athletic director. “That alone shows how important football Saturdays in Michigan Stadium are to our fans,” he adds. Generally, consumer surveys achieve 8–26 percent, depending on the target audience.

The survey, conducted by Coldwater Corp., sought opinions from a random sample of 3,003 of 23,386 season ticket holders. It was designed to provide a demographic profile and determine general attitudes of season ticket holders toward their game-day experiences, to show how important selected aspects of their experiences are, and to measure their level of satisfaction with those aspects.

According to the fan profile:

  • 54 percent are alumni.

  • 24 percent have held their season tickets for 30 years or more.

  • 48 percent have earned a post-graduate degree.

  • 11 percent travel more than 200 miles one way to attend games.

    Fans ranked particular aspects of the game-day experience in importance and satisfaction. Seat location, the U-M Marching Band, crowd conduct, security, ushers, video scoreboards, access for the disabled and tailgate parties were among those ranked highest. The aspects with which fans were least satisfied include the availability and cleanliness of restrooms; the cost of parking; and the quality, variety and cost of concession food.

    “We are taking all of the survey results very seriously and will make improvements accordingly as we are able,” Martin says. “The first thing we’ll do in time for the upcoming season is to begin refurbishing the men’s and women’s restrooms on the east and west sides of the stadium. That will include special cleaning, painting, replacing fixtures and increased lighting. Also, we’ll consider the addition of portable lavatories if the need is there.”

    The survey findings are a critical element in the Department of Athletics’ long-term plan to improve athletic facilities, Martin adds.

    For more information on the fan survey, visit the Web at