University of Michigan to Host First Night Football Game at the Big House: Cool or Breaking Tradition?
For the first time in team history, Michigan
will host a night football game at Michigan Stadium when it welcomes rival
Notre Dame on Sept. 10, 2011.
New Michigan athletic director
David Brandon made the historic scheduling announcement Thursday afternoon in Ann
The 2011 game will kick off at 8 p.m. ET
and be televised by ESPN or ESPN2.
"This will be an unprecedented game day atmosphere that our fans have
not experienced at Michigan Stadium," Brandon
said in a statement. "It's a great opportunity to showcase our program,
university and Ann Arbor to a
primetime viewing audience. This also adds a new chapter to the storied rivalry
between our two great programs."
Head football coach Rich Rodriguez has wanted to enhance the atmosphere at
Michigan Stadium, which is undergoing a major renovation that will be completed
for the start of the 2010 season. Michigan's
administration had opposed night games in previous years.
"Our players have always enjoyed playing night games and I think it's
something that our fans will truly enjoy and embrace," Rodriguez said in a
statement. "I expect the atmosphere will be electric for this match-up at
the Big House."
The Wolverines have played the Fighting Irish at night three times -- losing
in 1982, 1988 and 1990 by an average of four points, all at Notre Dame Stadium.
Michigan leads 21-15-1 in the
all-time series that started in 1887.
Notre Dame and Michigan are
scheduled to play each year through 2017, then take two years off to play other
teams, before resuming the rivalry in 2020 through 2031.
Michigan owns a 22-11 all-time
record in prime-time games.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report
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