EAST LANSING, Mich. – Michigan State University Athletics DirectorMark Hollis outlined plans on Thursday, Aug. 20 for a “Celebrate theState” football series, featuring 12 games over 10 seasons(2011-2020) against Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan and WesternMichigan that includes the Spartans making one road trip each toMount Pleasant, Ypsilanti and Kalamazoo. Athletic directors from thethree in-state Mid-American Conference institutions – CentralMichigan’s Dave Heeke, Eastern Michigan’s Dr. Derrick Gragg andWestern Michigan’s Kathy Beauregard – joined Hollis for the seriesannouncement in the Spartan Club at Spartan Stadium.
Michigan State will play four games each against the Chippewas,Eagles and Broncos during the 10-year period.
“The state of Michigan is a great place to live,” Hollis said. “Inthe spirit of ‘Pure Michigan’, we strive to ‘Celebrate the State’with a football series that provides competition on the fi eld whileunifying people of our great state.
“Michigan State University and President (Lou Anna) Simon have madegreat strides to provide opportunities for the state of Michiganthat provide economic and other benefits for our State. FRIB, IBM,and our state wide medical school outreach are a few examples. It iswith this spirit that we present the ‘Celebrate the State’ series.
“The series provides an opportunity for competitive games, positivecelebrations, and economic benefits. Coming off the 2009 NCAA FinalFour in Detroit, Michigan State continues to provide positiveeconomic stories for the state of Michigan.
“Competitively, the Big Ten Conferences enjoys its relationship withthe Mid-American Conference in football and multiple other sports.
“The series also provides an opportunity for Michigan State fans tocelebrate Spartan football at locations across our state (MountPleasant, Kalamazoo and Ypsilanti) while maintaining a seven-gamehome schedule at Spartan Stadium.
“Financially, the series provides a positive for each universitywith regards to game guarantees, regionalized travel expenses, andkeeps revenues within the boundaries of the state of Michigan. Thegames will also provide a positive economic impact on the state ofMichigan from teams and fans that spend dollars in our state withtravel, housing, dining, and other activities on game days.
“I am appreciative of the cooperation of CMU, WMU, and EMU forcollaborating on a football series that celebrates the state ofMichigan.”
The Spartans will entertain Western Michigan during the 2013, 2017and 2019 seasons and play a road game at Waldo Stadium in 2015. Itwill mark Michigan State’s first game in Kalamazoo since playing atKalamazoo College in 1905.
Michigan State will play host to Eastern Michigan during the 2012,2014 and 2016 seasons and travel to Rynearson Stadium in either 2018or 2020. It will mark the Spartans’ first trip to Ypsilanti since1899 when EMU was formerly known as Michigan State Normal College.
The Spartans will play Central Michigan in East Lansing during the2011, 2015 and 2018 seasons, with their fi rstever appearance inKelly/Shorts Stadium scheduled for 2012.
“Michigan State University is proud of its scheduling, competing inthe tough Big Ten Conference,” Hollis said. “Our non-conferenceseries with Notre Dame is one of the nation’s greatest rivalries andwill celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 10-10 tie in 2016. Wehave also recently announced home-and-home series with Alabama andWest Virginia.”
Western Michigan University Athletics Director Kathy Beauregard:”The announcement of Michigan State coming to Waldo Stadium in 2015is one that benefi ts our fans, our University, the entire Kalamazoocommunity and the Mid-American Conference. We have hosted a numberof high profi le teams in the past but having one from within thestate of Michigan play the Broncos on our home fi eld is really veexciting. We appreciate all the work put in by MSU’s Mark Hollis andthe respective athletic departments in order to make this a reality.”
Eastern Michigan University Athletics Director Dr. Derrick Gragg:”We appreciate the way that Mark Hollis and his staff have workedcollaboratively with us during the past few months. This partnershipwill give us an opportunity to play the Spartans at home in bothmen’s basketball and football. These home games will be excitingfor our players, our fans and our University and we look forward tothe challenge of competing against Michigan State in these historicventures.”
Central Michigan University Athletics Director Dave Heeke:”Central Michigan University is thrilled with the opportunity to bepart of this very special in-state football series. I know thatChippewa fans everywhere will look forward with great anticipationto the Spartans’ visit to Mount Pleasant in 2012.
“It is a privilege for Central Michigan to host a game against aprogram as nationally respected and traditionrich as Michigan Stateand it will prove to be an incredible event for not only ourfootball student-athletes, but also our university, our communityand our region.
“I congratulate Michigan State University for working with the threein-state MAC schools to develop a creative plan that is benefi cialto all parties. Most importantly it is a great economic move for thestate of Michigan and shows that all of our great universities canwork together.
“I have great respect for Coach Dantonio, Athletics Director MarkHollis and President Simon for their willingness to structure aseries like this. This is terrifi c for college football in thestate of Michigan.”