Michigan State vs. Penn State game slated for neutral site, primetime kickoff

Peter Warren05/24/23
Article written by:On3 imagePeter Warren


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Michigan State and Penn State will play their Black Friday primetime game at Ford Field in Detroit. The game will be broadcast on NBC with kickoff set for 7:30 p.m. ET.

Playing the game inside the dome at Ford Field likely alleviates concerns from both teams about playing a primetime game in late November when wintery conditions would be expected. According to a recent story from ESPN’s Pete Thamel, teams were not excited about that possibility.

According to the Michigan State press release, the Big Ten came to them with the potential idea of moving the game from Saturday to Friday and playing at Ford Field.

The two teams play for the Land Grant Trophy, which was created when the Nittany Lions joined the Big Ten.

The game is set to be one of two Big Ten rivalry games set to be played on Black Friday. Nebraska and Iowa play their rivalry game every year on Black Friday.

“This is a unique opportunity, for both our football program and our fan base, to play a Black Friday game at Ford Field,” Michigan State athletic director Alan Haller said in a statement. “Southeast Michigan is home to 100,000 alums, nearly 50 percent of our student body and countless more Spartan fans. Our men’s basketball team has experienced tremendous support in Detroit, both at Ford Field and Little Caesars Arena, and we’re excited to bring Spartan Football to our fans in the Motor City. The city is important to our mission not only as an athletic department, but our entire University. We anticipate that the experience will be so much more than a football game for our Spartan faithful.”

The last time Michigan State played in Detroit was in 2010. It is about a 90-mile drive from East Lansing to Detroit.

Black Friday game between Michigan State, Penn State causing scheduling changes

The Black Friday game at Ford Field between Michigan State and Penn State will cause some changes to the stadium’s scheduling during the month of November.

The Michigan high school football championships are held at Ford Field. With the college football game on Friday night, the high school championships will now be held on Saturday and Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend.

“The MHSAA has enjoyed a long relationship with two of our best partners, Michigan State University and Ford Field,” Michigan High School Athletic Association executive director Mark Uyl said in a statement. “Our athletes have incredible experiences both on the Michigan State campus and Ford Field with our championship events. Given the unique opportunities of this fall, the MHSAA was proud to play a small part in making the puzzle work with Ford Field, Michigan State Athletics and the Big Ten Conference, while still preserving all eight of our games on Thanksgiving weekend at Ford Field.”