Spartans Announce Long Term Deal With MAC

The ten-year "Celebrate the State" football series is expected to reduce travel costs for the Spartans and give the schools a longterm scheduling solution while providing financial support for in-state Mid-American conference schools who sorely need additional sources of revenue.

Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis yesterday announced that Michigan State would begin a long-running football series with in-state Mid American Conference schools Central Michigan, Western Michigan and Eastern Michigan that would result in the Spartans playing road games in those MAC stadiums.

For the three in-state MAC schools, it is a financial windfall that will help them immensely during a time of financial recession.

"Coming off the 2009 NCAA Final Four down in Detroit, MSU continues to strive to lead and to provide a positive economic storage for the state of Michigan. I think all four of us up here, as you look around intercollegiate athletics, you understand the processes that we're going through, and when you compare that with what's going on in the state of Michigan, the economic pressure in our industry is very intense, and that's one of the reasons why we came together and started talking about a concept like this and where it could go," said Hollis as he stood with the athletic directors from those respective schools.

"The 'Celebrate the State' football series itself is going to be 12 games that are going to be played over ten seasons; through 2020 is the last potential date that we would have a game. Michigan State will host Central Michigan -- I'm trying to do this in alphabetical order, I think. Central Michigan in 2011, 2015 and 2018 here at Spartan Stadium, and in 2012 the Spartans will travel to Mount Pleasant.

With Eastern they'll be here 2012, 2014, 2016, and we'll be traveling down to Ypsilanti in 2018 or 2020 pending some scheduling that we're looking at there.

And then Western, 2013, 2017, 2019 at Spartan Stadium, and 2015 we'll travel over to Kalamazoo," explained Hollis.

The move is expected to reduce travel costs for the Spartans and give the schools a longterm scheduling solution while providing financial support for in-state Mid-American conference schools who sorely need additional sources of revenue.


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