Dec. 10, 2009
EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan State football team will play Florida Atlantic at Ford Field in Detroit next season on Sept. 11, 2010, it was announced today. It will mark MSU's first-ever football game at the facility; the Spartan men's basketball team has played four games at Ford Field, including the 2009 Final Four.
"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," said MSU Athletics Director Mark Hollis. "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.
"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, who will be hosting the event, 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 matchup has been scheduled for some time and was designed to be the opening game in our new on-campus football stadium," said Florida Atlantic Athletics Director Craig Angelos. "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."
"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."
Michigan State and Florida Atlantic met for the first time on the football field in 2008, with the Spartans shutting out the Owls, 17-0, behind All-American Javon Ringer's 282 rushing yards in a rain-soaked Spartan Stadium.
The Spartans open the 2010 season with a Sept. 4 home game vs. Western Michigan. Following the date at Ford Field, the Spartans host three more home games (Sept. 18 vs. Notre Dame, Sept. 25 vs. Northern Colorado and Oct. 2 vs. Wisconsin) at Spartan Stadium before traveling to Ann Arbor Oct. 9 to face Michigan. The Spartans will also host Illinois (Oct. 16), Minnesota (Nov. 6) and Purdue (Nov. 20) next season.