Regents approve updated Elbel Field plan, budget


The University of Michigan is proceeding with construction and a revised budget to move and transform its iconic Elbel Field, which will deliver a world-class learning environment for the Michigan Marching Band.

The Board of Regents approved adjustments to the new practice field site at the board’s Dec. 7 meeting, which increased the estimated project cost from $15.4 million to $18.2 million.

Elbel Field — named for “The Victors” composer Louis Elbel — is moving from its previous location along South Division Street, between East Hoover Avenue and Hill Street, to make room for a new Central Campus housing and dining complex.

The new field will be north of Hill at the corner of East Madison Street and South Fifth Avenue, and will be nearly twice its previous size, featuring upgraded technology and an array of amenities.

A drawing of the new Elbel Field.
This drawing shows the new Elbel Field, looking north with South Fifth Avenue on the right. (Drawing courtesy of Integrated Design Solutions)

Regents first approved the construction and a project design Feb. 16. Due to some unexpected technical challenges with the site related to stormwater management, the design was updated, all requirements were incorporated and bid prices were adjusted accordingly.

One significant change was the need to move a damaged storm sewer, currently routed through the property, to a location within the city of Ann Arbor’s right-of-way. This change was necessary so future city maintenance of the sewer could be accomplished without affecting field use.

The project is expected to be completed by August 2024. Funding for the project will be provided by reserves.

The new practice area will be 2.7 acres, as opposed to 1.5 acres at the existing Elbel Field. The main field will be sized and oriented in a north-south position to match the game field at Michigan Stadium.



  1. Daniel Meisler
    on December 8, 2023 at 8:39 am

    Why doesn’t the budget include salt for the sidewalk along E. Madison St. when it’s icy or snowy?

  2. Alicia Farmer
    on December 8, 2023 at 10:20 am

    I realize it won’t likely happen, but I was hoping that the change of use for both Elbel field properties (historic and future) would provide an opportunity to daylight the Allen Creek and bring that water feature to the region. It looks like that use either wasn’t compatable with planned uses, or would require a larger project than just these two properties. Still, it’s too bad we weren’t able to capitalize on the new ownership to catalyze some restoration work along that corridor.

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