SBD/October 23, 2013/Facilities

Ann Arbor Officials Want To Shut Down UM's New Digital Billboard Outside The Big House

Ann Arbor officials are planning to ask the Univ. of Michigan to "decommission its new digital billboard" outside Michigan Stadium, according to Ryan Stanton of MLIVE.com. City council members argue the large marquee "is too big, too bright and too distracting to drivers with its continually changing messages." Council members Margie Teall and Marcia Higgins are "planning to bring forward a resolution at the council's next meeting on Nov. 7 to formally make a request" to UM. The video marquee, which was installed a few months ago, is located between Michigan Stadium and Crisler Center. UM AD Dave Brandon has said that the $2.8M marquee "is in step with the electronic displays featured by other major college athletic programs." But Teall said, "We've gotten a lot of emails from residents who are rightfully upset about this. I think they feel it's a blight on the landscape." Stanton noted the new billboard promotes UM athletics "morning, afternoon and night, encouraging fans to visit MGoBlue.com, buy tickets and follow U-M on Twitter and Facebook." But it is "not the content of the billboard that city officials are complaining about." The City Council in June amended Ann Arbor's signs and outdoor advertising ordinance "to prohibit new digital billboards or conversions of old billboards to digital, while imposing limits on the size and brightness of illuminated signs" (MLIVE.com, 10/22).
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