Spark43 Architects

Crisler Center

University of Michigan

Year Completed


Project Type

Renovation / Addition


Ann Arbor, MI


John Whitten: Senior Sports Planner, Lead Design Architect and Project Manager for Sink Combs Dethlefs

Architect of Record

TMP Associates

The renovation and expansion of Crisler Center showcases the resurgence of the antiquated home for men’s and women’s basketball at the University of Michigan. A modern seating bowl, scoreboards along with expanded concourses, a VIP club experience, and fan amenities has helped Crisler Center return to its position as a premier facility in college athletics.

Originally built in 1968, the renovation of Crisler Center some 50 years later achieved LEED Gold Certification. Among a long list of accolades, the project was recognized by Athletic Business Magazine as a “Facility of Merit” in 2014, an honor bestowed by a panel of the nation’s leading sports architects and planners. Construction took place during the basketball team’s offseason, over the course of three consecutive years. This strategy meant the Wolverines could play all home games at Crisler, rather than moving off campus during construction.

Project Highlights

  • Named “Facility of Merit” by Athletic Business Magazine
  • LEED Gold Certification
  • John Whitten featured in ESPN magazine: “One Day, One Game” issue
  • State-of-the-art Fan Amenities
  • Three story waterfall
  • Dedicated student entrance
  • Contains the University of Michigan Athletic “Hall of Honor”
  • State-of-the-art television production studio