FAU to Host Michigan State at Ford Field
Florida Atlantic University is set to host Michigan State University at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan – the home of the Detroit Lions – at the start of the 2010 football season.
“This match-up has been scheduled for some time and was designed to be the opening game in our new on-campus football stadium,” said Craig Angelos, FAU’s director of athletics. “Because of the difficult financial climate, our completion date has been pushed back a year. Therefore, we considered how we could still use this game toward promoting and supporting our efforts to make the stadium a reality. We thought this neutral site would be an ideal way of benefiting the stadium effort.”
FAU will receive the gate proceeds from the Michigan State matchup to be put toward the funding of the anticipated state-of-the-art, on-campus stadium. This also marks Michigan State’s first time playing at Ford Field, and will allow the opportunity to provide their loyal fans with an away game 92 miles from Michigan State’s campus.
FAU, however, is no stranger to Ford Field. It was nearly one year ago that the Owls were invited to play in the Motor City Bowl, where FAU upset the hometown favorite Central Michigan University with a score of 24-21.
“We are very excited about returning to Ford Field,” said Angelos. “We had a great time in Detroit last year at the Motor City Bowl and know this upcoming game will also be a first class experience for the teams, the fans and the city of Detroit.”
The Owls also faced Michigan State in 2008 only to come away with a 17-0 loss on a rain soaked Saturday on Michigan State’s home turf.
“While we were looking forward to playing the opening game in FAU’s new on-campus stadium, we are delighted to be able to play a ‘road game’ in Detroit. This game is certain to have a positive financial impact on the state. It’s also important to note from a financial standpoint that Michigan State will play nine of its 12 regular-season games next year in the state of Michigan, with seven games in East Lansing, one in Ann Arbor and the FAU game in Detroit,” said Mark Hollis, MSU’s athletics director. “In the past, we have had success in creating special events at Detroit’s Ford Field, including the BasketBowl game against Kentucky in 2003 that set the world record for attendance as well as last year’s regular-season basketball game against North Carolina. It would be awesome if we could help recapture some of the spirit that made Detroit simply electric during the 2009 NCAA Men’s Final Four.”
FAU is also 4-1 when hosting a home game away from Lockhart Stadium, as FAU has played host to Oklahoma State University, the University of Minnesota and FIU at Land Shark Stadium in Miami.
“Ford Field is excited to host Florida Atlantic University in 2010,” said Tom Lewand, president of Ford Field and the NFL’s Detroit Lions. “We look forward to hosting another terrific college football game in the city of Detroit, featuring the Owls and the visiting team from just down the road, the Michigan State Spartans.”