What do you call the nearly 10,000 graduates of the University of Michigan who live in Texas? Wolverines through and through.
They’ll have plenty of company on September 2 at AT&T Stadium – the home of the Dallas Cowboys – when Michigan takes on the Florida Gators to open its 2017 football season.
About 500 members of the Alumni Association of the University of Michigan are flying in September 1-3 to cheer the Wolverines, and at least double that amount will attend the big tailgate party before the AdvoCare Classic game.
The Alumni Association has pulled out all the stops to make it a memorable Labor Day weekend, including two nights at the deluxe Omni Hotel in downtown Fort Worth, daily breakfast, escorted motor coach transfers to and from the tailgate and game, official hosts and escorts, and much more.
“This really is the best way to go to these games,” says Kirk Lutz, ’87, the Alumni Association’s senior director of events and programs. “Not only do you not have to do any work, you’re surrounded by other Michigan fans and family, which is just wonderful.”
A highlight of the weekend will be the tailgate party in the grand ballroom of the Arlington Convention Center.
“We were there when Michigan first played AT&T Stadium in 2012, and it was near 111 degrees that day,” says Lutz, with a laugh. “This time we will be in a climate-controlled 72 degrees with plenty of restrooms. And we’ll have a beautiful outdoor spot so people can go in and out.”
Also new this year is the option to purchase a parking spot for the tailgate, which is an easy walk to the stadium. “That makes life so much easier,” says Lutz, “and the price is only $30 a car, which is significantly less than the stadium charges to park.”
The party will be festive with appearances by the Michigan Cheer Team, beloved former players and Texas-inspired attractions like a mechanical bull and armadillo races. Attendees will enjoy beer, wine and “tailgate fare with a geographic flair,” says Lutz, “and of course there will be face painting, photo booths and all kinds of Michigan swag and giveaways.”
Alumni have the option to purchase game tickets in the 300-level club section along the Michigan Sideline. “We know that many, many people already have their tickets to the game and they don’t want to buy them twice,” says Lutz. “We want to be as flexible as we possibly can.”
That flexibility extends to an optional night on August 31 or September 3 for those who want to squeeze an extra day out of the holiday weekend.
The Alumni Association of the University of Michigan has traveled to cheer on the Wolverines for more than 50 years. “In 1962, we ran our first tour to the Rose Bowl,” Lutz notes, “and we’ve been doing it ever since. It’s all about the comradery.”
While other universities may offer alumni promotions, “We provide the full-on experience,” says Lutz. “Many say, ‘Here’s a hotdog and chips.’ Some schools only do events for a certain level of donors. With us, every Michigan fan is invited and welcome to come be with other Wolverines. And that is what we are all about – connecting alumni with each other and to the university.”
Learn more at umalumni.com/kickoff. Don't miss your chance to join in on the fun.
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