MSU and Lugnuts Agree to Extend Crosstown Showdown
April 16, 2009
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Michigan State University and the Lansing Lugnuts have agreed on a three-year extension for the Crosstown Showdown presented by Auto-Owners Insurance, extending the popular event through 2012.
The 2009 game marks the third year of the exhibition game at Oldsmobile Park, and the new deal ensures at least three more games between the Spartans of the Big Ten and the Lugnuts of the Midwest League.
"The success of the Crosstown Challenge has been overwhelming," said Lugnuts General Manager Patrick Day. "It's served as the perfect way to bring together all of the baseball fans throughout the mid-Michigan region, whether you cheer for the green and white of the Spartans or for the red and black of the Lugnuts."
Michigan State athletics director Mark Hollis is also excited about the synergy the event brings to the greater Lansing area.
"The Crosstown Showdown has become a community event that brings people from across Lansing and mid-Michigan together for a fun and enjoyable evening," said MSU Athletics Director Mark Hollis. "We appreciate the relationship MSU has with the Lansing Lugnuts and the Showdown extension for future years of this great event."
The first two games between the teams have drawn a total of more than 19,000 fans to Oldsmobile Park, including an Oldsmobile Park record crowd of 12,862 in 2008.
The 2009 event, scheduled for Thursday, April 16 at 7:05 p.m. and sponsored by Auto-Owners Insurance, will be a nine-inning game, same as the inaugural event in 2007. The 2008 Crosstown Showdown went seven innings. The contract extension calls for the two teams to continue the nine-inning game format.
The Lugnuts, a Class A affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays, have won each of the first two Crossdown Showdowns by slim margins. In 2008, Lansing edged the Spartans, 4-2. In 2007's inaugural contest, the Lugnuts defeated MSU, 4-3.
The 2009 Crosstown Showdown will be the first for MSU head coach Jake Boss Jr. and he looks forward to continuing the unique game.
"The Crosstown Showdown is great for our community and something that our players look forward to all year," said Boss. "We are thankful to the Lugnuts organization and the MSU athletic department for their support in extending this outstanding event."
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