SBD/July 18, 2014/Colleges

Michigan Regents Nix Big House Fireworks Proposal, Cite Tradition, Risk, Neighbors

Michigan fans may have to do without fireworks displays at football games
The Univ. of Michigan Board of Regents "took a strong stand Thursday against fireworks at Michigan Stadium, voting down an athletic department proposal," according to Mark Snyder of the DETROIT FREE PRESS. The department had "requested support for fireworks shows" during the school's Sept. 13 game against Miami of Ohio and Oct. 11 game against Penn State. The proposal called for fireworks "in-game after scores, a halftime show against Miami and a postgame 'July 4 style' show." The Regents voted the proposal down "after a 20-minute discussion." The "extended conversation was extremely rare for an athletics proposal as most are quickly approved by the board." Regent Laurence Deitch said the plan's risk "outweighed its rewards." He also said the plan was "disrespectful to our neighbors" and "inconsistent with the University of Michigan's tradition and culture." Regent Mark Bernstein "opposed it on traditional grounds." He said, "I love fireworks, but not at a Michigan football game. We are not Comerica Park or the Super Bowl or Disney World or a circus and the important point is we shouldn't try to be. At a certain point enough is enough." Michigan Stadium "previously had fireworks" during two events in '10 (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 7/18). Deitch: "I have religiously attended (UM) football games for 50 years. I have not found that experience lacking of fireworks" (DETROIT NEWS, 7/18).
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