Central Michigan is moving a home game against rival Western Michigan to Detroit this season. The initial reactions from the locals in Mt. Pleasant has not been, well, pleasant.
“We all feel like it’s a bummer,” Mount Pleasant Area Chamber of Commerce Jamie Pierson said, as reported by Central Michigan Life. “It will make an impact, but I don’t know how much. They’ll definitely feel it,” Pierson added, commenting on the negative affect the relocated game will have on local businesses.
Earlier this week, as the MAC rolled out its 2020 college football schedule, Central Michigan officially moved its home game against Western Michigan to Ford Field., home to the NFL’s Detroit Lions and the MAC Championship Game. CMU hoped to make it a multi-year deal, but WMU turned down the idea of losing one of their home games to a neutral site game in Detroit’s Ford Field. Locals in Mt. Pleasant seem to wish the powers that be at CMU had the same mentality as those at WMU. Or at least a bit of notice ahead of time.
“I didn’t get the heads up,” Mount Pleasant Mayor William Joseph, a Central Michigan alum, said to Central Michigan Life. “So, um, obviously shocked and surprised… I’m not very excited about it.”
It makes sense from CMU’s point of view to want to try attracting the attention in Detroit, the largest metro area in the state of Michigan. But small college towns take a hit any time there is not a college football game being played at home. And big weekend rivalry games not being played at home hurt even more.