Football fans will see not fireworks displays during home football games against Miami (Ohio) on Sept. 13 and Penn State on Oct. 11. A request for the use of fireworks at Michigan Stadium for those games was denied Thursday by the Board of Regents.
Regents voted separately on each game after a vigorous discussion. The vote on the proposed fireworks for the Sept. 13 Miami game was 4-3 against fireworks. That game is scheduled for a 3:30 p.m. kickoff. The vote on fireworks for the Oct. 11 Penn State night game was 5-2 against fireworks.
Regent Laurence B. Deitch, D-Bloomfield Hills, said the risks associated with a fireworks display at Michigan Stadium outweighed the rewards and it was inconsistent with the traditions of Michigan football.
“What I, as a fan, want is tough, exciting winning football. That’s it,” Deitch said. “This does not feel right to me. It feels like a night at Disney World.”
Regent Mark Bernstein, D-Ann Arbor, said he loves fireworks, but not at a Michigan football game. “We are not Comerica Park or the Super Bowl or Disney World, and we should not try to be.
“I love Michigan football for what it is. And for what it is not,” Bernstein said. “Fireworks should be on the field, not above it.”
Fireworks had been approved three previous times in conjunction with sporting events played at Michigan Stadium.
Pyrotechnics were used for the pregame ceremony celebrating the rededication of Michigan Stadium prior to the football game with Connecticut on Sept. 4, 2010. Fireworks were used during the Big Chill at the Big House hockey game between Michigan and Michigan State Dec. 11, 2010. Also, the National Hockey League used fireworks during the Jan. 1 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic between the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs.