Never a night game at Regents Field & Ferry Field at the University of Michigan
September 6, 2011
The University of Michigan Wolverines will play their first-ever night game at Michigan Stadium this Saturday at 8 PM, so I figured it would be a good time to look back at UM’s stadium history. The Michigan Stadium story at the UM Bentley Library says that “student agitation” for better facilities and concerns over holding football games at the Ann Arbor Fairgrounds led to:
In October 1890 the Board of Regents authorized expenditure of $3,000 to acquire land for athletic uses. A ten acre parcel along South State street, approximately where Schembechler Hall now stands, was purchased in 1891. At their May 1891 meeting, the Regents appropriated $4,500 “for the purpose of fitting up the athletic field.”
Michigan christened the field on October 7, 1893 with a 6-0 victory over the Detroit Athletic Club. In 1902, Dexter Ferry donated land immediately north of Regents Field to the university and it was renamed Ferry Field.
Regents Field was home field for several of Michigan’s greatest teams and individual stars. Center William Cunningham was named Michigan’s first All-American in 1898. Neil Snow, end and fullback, was an All-American in 1901, four time All-Western, and star of the first Rose Bowl, also excelled on the Regents Field track and baseball diamond, earning 10 varsity letters. The incomparable halfback Willie Heston, twice an All-American, scored many of his school record 72 touchdowns at Regents Field.
Michigan compiled an overall record of 87 wins 2 losses and 3 ties at Regents/Ferry Field between 1893 and 1905. Fielding Yost’s great “point-a-minute” teams of 1901-1905 went 44-0 at Regents Field, outscoring their opponents 2821-42. Possibly the greatest victory at Regents Field came in the 1904 Chicago game. Michigan beat the previously undefeated team of Amos Alonzo Stagg 22-12 to win the Western Conference title and be proclaimed national champion.
By curious coincidence, that game (which appears in the photo above) was filmed by the Edison Company in one of the earliest successful attempts to film a football game! Click here to view the video!!
The UM v Chicago game was played November 12, 1904 and had an attendance of 13,500. The U of M/Notre Dame game is expected to draw over 111,000 people. You can see another view of Ferry Field at the Library of Congress.