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CMU president Davies, AD Alford discuss CMU-WMU football game at Ford Field


The Western Michigan student section boos Central Michigan as the team runs across the field at Waldo Stadium Sept. 28 in Kalamazoo.

Central Michigan and Western Michigan will play for the Victory Cannon at Ford Field on Oct. 17. 

CMU president Bob Davies, athletic director Michael Alford, Detroit Lions team president Rod Wood and Detroit Sports Commission senior vice president Day Beachnau spoke at Ford Field in Detroit on Wednesday announcing the game. 

After dropping the Mid-American Conference championship game on Dec. 7 to Miami (Ohio), the Chippewas have a 4-5 record all-time at the home of the NFL's Detroit Lions. 

"Ford Field has been the location of many great experiences for CMU Football, and this is an opportunity to create another iconic experience for our program and our university," Alford said. "CMU's continued success means out-of-the-box thinking. Bringing this game — and the events surrounding it — to Detroit allows our athletics program to help engage thousands of people who are passionate about CMU."

The press conference came in conjunction with the MAC releasing its football schedule for the 2020 season. 

CMU will play three Saturday home games in 2020 and just one conference game at home on a Saturday. 

Davies said the game and the decision to play it in Detroit because of the number of alumni who live and work in the area.

"This is much more than a football game," said Davies, who expects the game to be televised nationally. "Every time I go through (Ford Field), I run into people who are CMU graduates." 

As the game is a home game for CMU, it is included in CMU's season ticket package. Premium seat and season ticket holders, and Chippewa Club members have priority seating in Detroit. Season tickets for 2020 start at $60 per general admission ticket.

End zone reserved tickets for the game in Detroit start at $10. Lower end zone reserve seats are $15, sideline reserved seats are $25 and sideline center reserved seats are $40. 

For students, 2,000 complementary tickets were made available in the fall from "sponsor support." After the 2,000 free tickets are distributed, student tickets may be purchased for $10. 

Ford Field, which has a capacity of 65,000, can certainly accommodate the game. In 2019, in Kalamazoo, the game drew 20,746 — that's double the crowd that attended the last Western Weekend in 2018, which drew only 10,097 people due to inclement weather. The 2016 game in Mount Pleasant attracted 30,411 people. 

The university is planning to offer students transportation to the game. 

WMU leads the all-time series 50-39-2 including the last two years. CMU last won in 2017 and has not won on its own campus since 2010. Dating back to 1907, the series has not been played outside of Mount Pleasant or Kalamazoo. 

The Victory Cannon, the trophy awarded to the game's winner, was first awarded in 2008 after CMU defeated the Broncos 38-28 in Kelly/Shorts Stadium.