The University of Michigan will remove a section of 45 seats to expand access entering and exiting the tunnel at Michigan Stadium, the athletic department confirmed to news outlets Monday.
The decision was the result of a safety review of the famed stadium following the 2022 football season. A letter first obtained by MLive said the athletics department will remove a “small but entire section of movable seats that previously extended from the tunnel.”
The safety report said the decision “directly stems” from an Oct. 29 incident when Michigan hosted Michigan State — but not the altercation that led to eight Spartans players being suspended for allegedly assaulting two Michigan players after the game.
During that game, a spectator “reached down and came in physical contact with Spartans coach Mel Tucker, touching his head,” according to the report.
The Big Ten later reprimanded Michigan for its game management policy while fining Michigan State $100,000 for the players’ conduct.
The planned changes won’t alter the actual dimensions of the tunnel, but create more space for players and coaches to travel between the field and the locker rooms.
Michigan Stadium will increase its standing-room-only space elsewhere in the building by 45 to maintain its capacity of 107,601, the largest stadium in the country.
The ugly altercation between players in October led to seven of the Spartans players involved facing criminal charges, including a felony for one. Michigan State defensive back Khary Crump, who was seen on video swinging his helmet at defenseless Michigan player Gemon Green, accepted a plea deal that included pleading guilty to two misdemeanors.