Plans for Michigan stadium get approval

The University of Michigan's Board of Regents has approved plans for a new soccer stadium, allowing work to begin immediately on the $6 million project. The goal is to add European-style grandstand seating for 2,200 fans at the soccer field, which has only temporary bleachers.

The project will also add two team locker rooms, restrooms and concessions for spectators and a press area. Architectural firm Jickling Lyman Powell Associates Inc. will begin work on the design.

"This is a huge statement on the commitment of the university to the soccer programs," said Michigan athletic director Bill Martin.

The men's program is one of the few programs to be added in the last decade. Its 2009 recruiting class ranked No. 7 in the country by Soccer America.

The women's program is headed by second-year coach Greg Ryan, the former U.S. women's national team coach,

The first step will be the design of the facility, which will be done by the Michigan architectural firm Jickling Lyman Powell Associates Inc. Schematic drawings will be presented at a future regents meeting for approval.

"What was once a distant dream is now close to becoming a reality," said men's coach Steve Burns. "We are grateful for a stadium that is worthy of our players and follows in the great tradition of Michigan athletics. Our program will soon have a home that we can call our own, and this energy and excitement is incredibly uplifting for everyone involved."

Added Ryan, "Building a soccer-specific, state-of-the-art stadium for our programs and players is a clear demonstration of the commitment Michigan has for student-athletes. This outstanding stadium will benefit our players, fans, and will play a key role in helping us recruit future quality student-athletes as we continue to rebuild the U-M women's soccer program."

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