Policing game day: Emergency calls up, but major problems few for Michigan vs. Michigan State
Melanie Maxwell I AnnArbor.com
Police in Ann Arbor said they dealt with more calls Saturday than on an ordinary game day, but the contest between the University of Michigan and Michigan State football teams kept them less busy than they feared.
Plenty of partying went on, but most of it didn't get out of hand, police said.
That doesn't mean the day came off problem free.
Emergency staff treated 62 people Saturday, including 15 people who had to be hospitalized, according to the University of Michigan Police.
Many of those emergency calls were alcohol-related, said Diane Brown, public information officer for the U-M Police.
The figure is nearly double the number that had to be treated at last week’s U-M game versus the University of Illinois.
The University of Michigan Police ejected 26 people from Michigan Stadium Saturday. Half of those were for disorderly conduct, and nine were for alcohol possession.
Five people were cited for having alcohol in the stadium and one person was cited for unlawful entry.
The U-M Police also made four arrests: Two for disorderly conduct, one for marijuana possession and one for resisting and obstructing a police officer.
Game attendance was tallied at 113,833.
The presence of the Spartans and their fans in Ann Arbor kept the Ann Arbor Police Department busier than normal on a game day, said Lt. Jim Baird.
However, Saturday’s rivalry game against MSU did not generate as many calls as the force had to deal with the last time MSU was in town in 2010, Baird said. He said he expects to have a detailed report on the call volume and enforcement action Monday.
The overcast skies that shut out the sun at the Big House for most of the day broke right at the end of the game as Michigan kicker Brendan Gibbons kicked a 38-yard field goal with five seconds left on the clock to give Michigan a 12-10 lead. MSU was unable to score in the 5 remaining seconds, giving the Wolverines a win over the Spartans after four consecutive losses.
Downtown Ann Arbor was relatively quiet during the game outside of the bars and restaurants that had fans packed in to watch the game. People who had gathered outdoors to peek in at the TV joined those sitting inside in celebratory hoops and hollers when Gibbons' kicked the game-winning field goal.
After the game ended about 6:45 p.m., fans spilled out of the stadium onto the streets of Ann Arbor with chants of “Go Blue!” and rebel yells that echoed off the buildings.
Spartan fans kept their respective chants to themselves, but did not leave the city without an occasional razzing from Wolverine fans.
After the game, many fans marched their way into downtown Ann Arbor to celebrate the victory and even more jumped in their cars to get out of town. The high volume of traffic prompted the Michigan State Police to send their helicopter to circle the city for several hours to monitor traffic backups, Baird said.