Boxes for the Big House

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Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor will get luxury boxes and more seats as part of an estimated $226 million renovation to the American sports icon, under a plan given initial approval Friday.

The University of Michigan Board of Regents voted 5-3 in favor of the plan, which would increase the stadium's capacity to 108,251. The final design and construction contracts still require board approval.

The target for completion of work on the home of the Wolverines is 2010. About 83 suites and 3,200 club seats will be added, the university said, while widening seats and aisles will cut seats in some parts.

Details of the plan first were reported Friday by The Ann Arbor News, which obtained details through a Freedom of Information Act request.

Michigan Stadium was built in 1927 at a cost of $950,000. Expanded several times over the years, it is one of the largest football stadiums in the country with a seating capacity of 107,501.

The athletics department proposed that Michigan build private suites like those that many colleges have added in recent years. But the plan had drawn some opposition from Michigan football fans.