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Our football blog series is back! A bit belated this year, but hopefully better late than never. This fall there are 6 home football games out of the 12 game regular season. Like last year, we’re using the football season as an impetus to ask ourselves how we stack up against other, similar regions. How does Ann Arbor compare to other college towns in the US?

Coming up this Saturday, September 16: game three! University of Michigan vs. Air Force. Ann Arbor, MI vs. Colorado Springs, CO. We usually do a granular comparison city to city, including an infographic – but this time it doesn’t seem meaningful since they’re so different. 

How are they different, you ask?


source: US Census American Community Survey


Colorado Springs’ economy is driven primarily by the military, the high-tech industry, and tourism. Ann Arbor’s economy is driven in large part by the University of Michigan – which is by far the largest employer. Other drivers of the economy are high tech, manufacturing, and service industries.

Educational institutions:

Ann Arbor and the surrounding region is home to the University of Michigan, Eastern Michigan University, Concordia University, Cleary University, and Washtenaw Community College.

Colorado Springs is home to the following institutions, among others:

  • Colorado College
  • CollegeAmerica
  • University of Colorado Colorado Springs (UCCS)
  • Colorado Technical University
  • Remington College
  • Colorado Christian University, Colorado Springs Center Campus
  • The Citadel Campus of Colorado State University-Pueblo
  • The United States Air Force Academy

Famous for:

Colorado Springs, dubbed Olympic City USA, is home to the United States Olympic Training Center and the headquarters of the United States Olympic Committee and the United States Anti-Doping Agency. The city has a long association with the sport of figure skating, having hosted the U.S. Figure Skating Championships six times and the World Figure Skating Championships five times. It is home to the World Figure Skating Museum and Hall of Fame and the Broadmoor Skating Club, a notable training center for the sport.

Ann Arbor is famous for being a college town, and mainly for UM football (with the largest stadium in North America). Other notoriety comes from Art Fair, the Film Festival, the University Musical Society, the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library, the Ark, our parks, the fairy doors, and much more!

In conclusion…

To be fair, Boulder is a much better comparison to Ann Arbor (see this post for more info): similar population, typical college town, startup vibe, etc. But unfortunately we’re not playing University of Colorado this year!

Overall, Michigan and Colorado are similar in their “outdoorsy”-ness… though in very different ways!



Enjoy the game!