Brandon would prefer to play UConn game somewhere else (updated)

Submitted by dnak438 on August 22nd, 2012 at 12:34 PM

Per Angelique, who adds that Michigan has made proposals to move the game.

Does this mean New York City? It's hard to imagine a big stadium with a big draw near UConn other than it, or perhaps ... Boston?

EDIT: more tweets with more information:

On UConn game...Brandon says w state $$ to improve stadium politics are in play. Says would need waiver from state legislature

Brandon on UConn "my attitude - let's go to state legislature to move game". Realizes this is gonna be tough to accomplish

MORE UPDATES (per Angelique):

Brandon said Meadowlands was proposed venue for UM UConn. Meadowlands was very interested, he said

Brandon said "that's not Michigan" when asked if he considered buying out UConn game. "we did a contract, they control game"

Comments

Hannibal.

August 22nd, 2012 at 2:09 PM ^

I was sort of disappointed when UConn was announced as the home-at-home to complete the 2010 schedule.  This is why.  We're filling up our schedule every year with cream puffs so that we can get as many home games as possible,  But then we'll play in UConn's crap stadium?

EGD

August 22nd, 2012 at 6:24 PM ^

I seem to recall that the UM-Connecticut game was viewed as a pretty even matchup at the time.  UM was coming off two consecutive losing seasons, whereas UConn had destroyed somebody in their bowl game.  I realize Michigan won by 20, but it seemed like a pretty good matchup going in.

Also, in the book Death to the BCS, there is a discussion about how Bill Martin tried to get a bigger name opponent for the stadium rededication game but couldn't find anybody, as all the major programs wanted to keep all their non-conference games at home.  (I don't know how accurate that is, though; that book was kind of half-ass).

dahblue

August 22nd, 2012 at 2:21 PM ^

Clearly UConn has a lot of nerve to have demolished their giant stadium and built a shitty little one in its place.  If we knew that they were going to turn their back of a century of UConn football tradition and tear down "The House that Hartford Built", we certainly wouldn't have signed the home/home.

Of course, we could avoid all of this trouble by contracting home/home games with less traditional powerhouses like Alabama.  Their home stadium in Dallas is rumored to be very nice.

wolverine77

August 22nd, 2012 at 2:26 PM ^

State legislature got into a huge huff when other games got moved, because of the money they put towards renovations. Having the game at the new meadowlands or foxboro would be awesome, but even at Rentschler, I expect Michigan fans to buy a ton of tickets.

MAgoBLUE

August 22nd, 2012 at 2:33 PM ^

Can you think of how embarrassing it would be for UConn to have their biggest home game ever in New Jersey or Massachusetts?  I also saw the Yale Bowl suggested above.  I think they would rather scrap the football program than play home games at Yale.

When it comes to building programs I think UConn knows what its doing.  They've become a top 5 basketball program in the last 20 years and the football program is following a similar trajectory.  I have to believe that they want the prestige and excitement that comes with hosting Michigan.  Allowing DB to strong arm them into a neutral site would bring them more money, but would be shortsighted considering what their goals are.

Or maybe I'm just hoping they stick to their guns because I have a sweet parking hook up at The Rent!

cutter

August 22nd, 2012 at 2:37 PM ^

The state of Connecticut built and owns Rentschler Field (Office of Policy & Management), so it's not surprising that the General Assembly would have a hand in saying that UConn has to play their home games there rather than at other venues.  

That said, I'm not surpised that Brandon is looking at getting this game moved to the Meadowlands.  You'd be going from a stadium with barely 40,000 in capacity to one with over 82,000.  With its location close to New York City, Michigan alums from Boston to Washington, DC could reasonably drive there to watch the game in person.  

In the end, I suspect Brandon will try to work with UConn's AD to get the game moved, but if unable to do so, he'll honor the agreement that Bill Martin put in place when the Huskies agreed to be the opponent for the Michigan Stadium Rededication game.

 

 

 

Hardware Sushi

August 22nd, 2012 at 2:50 PM ^

The contract says we'll play a game with Connecticut as the away team. If you have a shitty rinky dink stadium and one of the biggest names in your sport is coming, move the damn game so people can attend.

AAB said to think about what the coaches, players and fans want.

  • If I'm a player, I want to play in an 80,000 person professional stadium in the biggest media market in the world against the winningest program all time instead of a Texas high school field at a college that cares infinitely more about their women's basketball program than they do about their football program.
  • If I'm a fan, I want to be able to get a freaking ticket. Sure, home games are great. And hey, I already have season tickets so I'm fine. But there are more than 40,000 people that want to watch this game.
  • I think the coaches know the location will have a small impact on the game. 40,000 people in UConn's stadium is not giong to provide the atmosphere of the Big House, Horseshoe, Beaver Stadium or Nebraska Memorial Field. Do they really think it will affect Michigan? If anything, a 60k-20k split of UConn-Michigan fans might actually make things more interesting.
  • If I'm UConn's AD, I'm thinking a.) I can sell a ton more tickets and a ton more suites to UConn AND rich UM alums that populate NY/NJ/Conn, b.) PUBLICITAYYYYYYYYYY of playing Michigan at the Meadowlands.

I get that they invested in their stadium using public funds. They're still going to play 99% of their games there. Couple season ticket packages with purchasing a Meadowlands ticket and BOOM! lots of season tickets sold.

jmblue

August 22nd, 2012 at 4:14 PM ^

I would love the Yale Bowl idea.  That stadium was the primary inspiration for the design of Michigan Stadium.  I think it'd be an amazing road trip to go on.

 

UMfanUConnalum

August 22nd, 2012 at 4:19 PM ^

This is essentially a dream come true for me to be able to see Michigan play without having to go halfway across the country. I have talked to many of my friends here and although we would think it would be fun to go to Gillette for a game (It would most certainly be here 1.5 hours away from campus as opposed to 3 hours to New york) It's not easy for us to get there and would be an extremely weak student section. It also most likely wouldn't be included in our season ticket package as when we play at MSG for basketball its not. However thats just a students perspective.

michelin

August 22nd, 2012 at 4:42 PM ^

is a relatively new, state-of-the-art stadium that seats nearly 70,000.  It is about 40 miles from the Connecticut border (as little as an hour and fifteen minutes by freeway from the major campus of UConn).  It's within a half hour train ride from Boston or Providence (and about four hours from NYC).  So, it could draw students and other fans from multiple areas.  (If the UM UConn game did not conflict with Patriots practice, maybe even Tom Brady would attend.) .

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gillette_Stadium

NateVolk

August 22nd, 2012 at 6:22 PM ^

Brandon is just trying to steer his number 1 asset to maximize profit. You only get a dozen or so of these games a year and the football program basically funds everything else for the other dedicated athletes in the NR sports. He said he won't break the contract but he is actively trying to find a greater financial win win for both schools.  He can't do anything unilaterally and if UCONN is deeply offended in any way I haven't seen it. The balls in their court. We've brain stormed a good half dozen alternative sites that would welcome the game. Let's see if something gets done.

Sorry but some fans thinking it would be "cool" to play in an unsuitable facility for a game of this stature is not a valid reason to punt on trying to move it when more money can be made.  

michelin

August 22nd, 2012 at 6:41 PM ^

 a place equally inconvenient and unsuitable for everyone:

The city’s stadium is located in Frank J. Szot Memorial Park, which features  a pond, two WWII tanks,  and a fountain.  Chicopee attained its fame from hosting The World Kielbasa Festival, a four day Polish food and polka festival run by the Chicopee Chamber of Commerce's Fireball Club.

Chicopee is not far from UConn.  In fact, the city recently hosted Don Novello (aka Father Guido Sarducci), who had just returned from a star-studded celebrity roast of the UConn women's BB coach.   Having recently tried in vain to drive the Ghost of the Bambino out of Boston, Novello then turned his attention to Chicopee.  There, he drove his bicycle to the local Drive-in movie theatre, and tried to exorcise Casper. 

jmblue

August 22nd, 2012 at 7:16 PM ^

What is the exact sticking point here anyway?  Is UConn giving us a share of the gate receipts?  I thought that in a typical home-and-home contract, the home team keeps all the revenue.   In that case, it doesn't seem like it would matter to us where it'd be played. 

 

Blue Cheese

August 22nd, 2012 at 9:58 PM ^

Severla years ago, Michigan played Boston College at Alumni Stadium in Chestnut Hill. I believe the stadium sat about 38,000-40,000 at that time, and yet there was no dissent about our playing there. I don't recall who the AD was back then. I guess the times have changed and perhaps not for the better.

quakk

August 22nd, 2012 at 10:08 PM ^

...to see teams like florida state, ucla, miami (ytm) at michigan stadium and we can pull these teams all the time.  or, we used to...  i don't care about teams like eastern michigan, miami (ntm), western michigan, utah, etc.  i might go to one of these games because i haven't been to a game in 20 years, but who cares?!

imagine what it would be like for uconn fans to have michigan in their own back yard.  i say we play where we agreed to play.