Slippery Rock to play at the Big House on 10/18/14 (M bye week)

Submitted by gwkrlghl on October 20th, 2013 at 2:16 PM

Press release:

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The University of Michigan Athletic Department announced today (Saturday, Oct. 19) a partnership with Slippery Rock University that will bring The Rock to Michigan Stadium for a regular-season football game on Oct. 18, 2014, during a Michigan football bye week.

Slippery Rock will face Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference rival Mercyhurst University.

"Slippery Rock has a special place in the hearts of our fans," said Dave Brandon, the Donald R. Shepherd Director of Athletics. "We have embraced this relationship for decades and thought now would be the appropriate time to entertain another game at Michigan Stadium. We look forward to making this an entertaining day for the fans of both schools and our Michigan fans who wish to attend this event."


This had been rumored (as mentioned here) but I believe this is the first official word of a date.



October 20th, 2013 at 2:24 PM ^

I went to the thread from last year and noticed that that I had said I would go if this game happened. I think I will still do that - it would be interesting to see how many turn out for this one. 

Great information, incidentally, and thanks for sharing it. 


October 20th, 2013 at 3:30 PM ^

Do you have proof of this?  I don't mean to be snarky or anything, I'm legitimately asking.  I find it hard to believe that Michigan would not be getting the lion's share of any profits.  Sure, I'm sure the Rock will get money to come out and all that, but are they really going to gain any financial profit off the game?  I'd be shocked. 

Us, on the otherhand... well $20 for a division 2 game.


October 20th, 2013 at 3:38 PM ^

Why would you be shocked?  Why do you think teams sometimes play home games away from their home stadium?  I can guarantee you that the Slippery Rock AD is not dumb enough to give up a home game and fly his team and marching band to Michigan for zero profit.

Given the high costs of running an event at Michigan Stadium (think of the number of staffers that work there), the cheaper cost of tickets, the fact that SRU will get a cut, and the fact that we probably won't draw more than like 30-40K, I don't think we're going to clear much, if any profit. 

Anyhow, the $20 cost is pretty cheap if you're a Slippery Rock fan - for them, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.  For them, it's basically a bowl game.   




October 20th, 2013 at 3:44 PM ^

Most teams lose money travelling to bowl games.

Like you said, it takes money to open up the Big House.  I expect Slippery Rock is doing this for the publicity, the chance to play in such a stadium, etc, but I don't think they'll get a ton of money from it.  It's not like they are being given $1M to get their asses kicked.  They're basically renting Michigan Stadium for one of their conference games.  It certainly won't be spun that way, but unless I see evidence otherwise, I in no way believe that Slippery Rock will receive any financial benefits from this game.

Of course, the non-financial benefits make it well worth it.


October 20th, 2013 at 3:54 PM ^

You're misunderstanding my point.  The experience of the event for SRU fans will be like a bowl.  Not the economics of it.

Bowl games lose money because teams don't buy enough tickets in the short window, but regular-season games that are moved usually do make a profit, because teams have enough time to sell tickets there.  There is no way we signed this deal without guaranteeing SRU all its expenses covered, and they probably will clear some extra on top.  

We're not going to make a whole lot unless they come out in droves.  The cost of staging a U-M game at Michigan Stadium is in the neighborhood of $1 million.  It might be less for this because we might not have as many people working concessions and so forth, but it's still going to be tight.  If 40,000 buy tickets, that's $800,000.  If they buy a bunch of concessions and park in U-M lots, that should put it over the top, but the idea that we're going to make out like bandits is naive.

When Wayne State played here a couple of years ago, it drew around 60,000.  My understanding is that it gave them a decent payday but didn't do much for us.  SRU probably won't draw that many.



October 20th, 2013 at 4:13 PM ^

Well, I hope you're right.  I just think they could have done much better making it a cheaper ticket. 

I might have dished out $5 or 10, but certainly won't dish out 20.  And the vast majority of the people that are going to attend this game are Ann Arborites, not SRU people.  Sure, they'll pay whatever, but if you want to get more people in, you should be targeting families. 

They are doing something with high school bands, which is good and will help fill it up.

Regardless of it all, if DB thought he would lose money on this deal, he wouldn't have done it.  I think that's a fair assumption and reasonable stance from DB's perspective. 


October 20th, 2013 at 4:16 PM ^

Self-loathing?  That's extreme.  I'm not one of the guys saying "Fire X" and "Fire Y" and "take away Z's scholarship." 

I think $20 for a ticket to a D2 game that I have no affiliation to is ridiculous and I wish DB would have made it more economical for an average family to take advantage of.

Doc Brown

October 20th, 2013 at 3:26 PM ^

this is definitely a money grab. The big house is typically empty for bye weeks, only being used for weddings and corporate events to line Dave Brandon's pockets. I am glad tickets will be free for students and $10 for season ticket holders. I am fine with that price point. I was afraid Brandon would dynamic price the tickets. It is the best game on the schedule next season...


October 20th, 2013 at 3:16 PM ^

should fill the student section to mock the AD. Yeah I know he still gets the money but it still burns him to have empty seats on gameday for UM


October 20th, 2013 at 3:40 PM ^

To belabor my point about money.

This could have been a great, great move.  If tickets were $5-10 for general public, this would have been the opportunity many fans on a tight budget crave for to bring their family to the Big House.

Instead, with $20 ticket prices, you're still looking at a pretty expensive outing for a family of 4.

$80 for tickets

$20 for parking?  Maybe lower.  Could get by with $0 if you know where to look.

$20 if everyone wants something to drink.

$20 if everyone wants something to eat.

That's $140 before you start talking souvenirs or t-shirts.