GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (WOOD) — The Michigan Wolverines will be in Grand Haven later this month, not to play football but to play on the beach like other tourists.
The Grand Haven City Council this week approved a summer event permit for the Wolverines under the condition that no barricades or roped off areas will be allowed. The approval of the request from football team happened out of order, with the City Council voting on it first.
“Council reviewed it before our Parks and Recreation Board,” Interim City Manager Ashley Latsch explained. “They approved it conditionally on the approval of the parks board.”
The mayor was the sole opposing vote on the council.
“When it came to council, the primary concern was the exclusive use,” Latsch said. “Historically, we haven’t allowed that sort of use on our public property.”
Weddings and small events have been allowed on section 11 of the beach, but according to the interim city manager, none of those events were allowed to erect stanchions or any ropes that would prevent the public from accessing the beach.
The parks board approved the permit Wednesday without the condition of exclusivity.
The team plans to celebrate its annual family fun day on July 23. News 8 was told it will likely bring its own security to help with crowd control.
Local shops are excited to host the players and their families.
“A little bit of food and energy to get ready for the next season might be a good thing,” said Tony Noto, whose restaurant, Noto’s at the Bil-Mar, is just next to the team’s reserved area. “We’ve got a beautiful venue. It’s not just ours, it’s the communities. Let people enjoy it.”
Parking concerns were also raised by some community members. The Wolverines’ family day will bus team members to the beachfront spot and park its coaches in the Meijer parking lot.