Would You Want Michigan to Play Internationally?

Submitted by VCavman24 on October 9th, 2013 at 8:34 PM

With Notre Dame having played in Ireland last year and Penn State playing in Ireland in the upcoming years, I began thinking about whether or not I would want Michigan to play a game internationally.  While I obviously wouldn't want to lose a home game, I personally think it would be extremely cool for Michigan to play a game internationally.  An international game would allow for Michigan fans from outside of the U.S. to potentially see a game and would allow for foreigners to see Michigan play as well.  Additionally, this game would allow me to do my two favorite things: travel and watch Michigan.  However, that is just my opinion.  What would the board think of an international Michigan football game?



October 9th, 2013 at 10:04 PM ^

I'd like to see it, actually. I think it'd be fun and unique, and wouldn't become a common, watered-down occurance (simply because of the travel costs and the fact that the rarity of international games is precisely the reason for their tremendous popularity when they do happen) like ths ineutral-site bullshit.


October 9th, 2013 at 10:44 PM ^

I agree! I think it would be a blast to have one international game. I'd happily get a few passport stamps, travel to support the team, and enjoy a brand new UM football experience to put in my memory book! 

I see it as a logical extension of one of the most (if not the most) recognizable brands in college sports. If done correctly (i.e. similiar to the NFL games in London, which I've attended and are a total blast), the idea can really galvanize a massive global fanbase. If done incorrectly (i.e. like ND v. Navy, which I thought was poorly organized), it can essentially just be a neutral site game that has limited-to-no material impact on the landscape of college sports.

The reality is that - whether we like it or not - international games will find a way to enter the mainstream. It's happened with the NFL and college football - being the large business that it is  - will pursue international options more and more. If it makes money and offers people a great value-based experience, why not? As such, my personal opinion is that I'd like to see UM at the forefront of the movement rather than reacting to it. 

Wolverine Devotee

October 9th, 2013 at 10:08 PM ^

Dove into my record book because I remembered at least one international game Michigan has played in. They've played in two and are perfect in international games-

Date Opponent Result Venue Location
11/5/1880 at Toronto W 13-6 Lacrosse Club Toronto, Ontario, Canada
11/7/1885 at Windsor Club W 10-0 Unknown Windsor, Ontario, Canada



October 9th, 2013 at 10:30 PM ^

When I studied at Peking University for a few months I showed a few of the students video of Michigan football games and they loved it. I showed video the team running out and touching the banner as well as parts of the games. One of the first things they commented on were the helmets followed by the band and the fight song in the run out. They all thought that was amazing and were genuinely interested in the actual game as well. We spent over an hour looking at photos, watching videos and discussing what a football Saturday involves which was a lot of fun. I also recieved a number of "Go Blue!" shout outs or people asking about Michigan while I wore my pullover jacket walking around in both Beijing and Shanghai. 

If they were to do it once every 6 years or just a one off with no future commitment that would be ok with me. I wouldn't be interested in a "Shamrock Series" like ND where they play a neutral site, non-conference (yes, I know ND is indie) game every year. That's what bowls are for. A game in Beijing or elsewhere overseas would be better than a roadtrip to a neutral site game in the U.S., especially for the players. While I cannot speak for the players I would be more interested playing in Beijing or Germany and experiencing that culture over Arlington Texas or some other NFL stadium. 

Of note, the University of Michigan has (or had) a working relationship with Peking University so it was nice to have some help in explaining everything with the Peking students! Haha! 


Wolverine Devotee

October 9th, 2013 at 10:51 PM ^

For people who have the privilege of being able to travel overseas or travel period, that's all nice.

But there aren't too many fans who can afford a trip for more than one to the Rose Bowl, much less a trip to China. Not that I would have to worry about more than one in my case.

The only international traveling I plan on doing is next summer in Windsor when I get all the way turnt up. 



October 9th, 2013 at 11:32 PM ^

At the same time there are many who cannot afford to take their family of four to Michigan Stadium to see Appalachian State next year either at $75 per ticket. If you don't have season tickets you and go through the athletic departments dynamic pricing system you are currently looking at spending $220-$2000 for Ohio State. So while I see your point and agree that it would be expensive so are bowl games and neutral site games like the Cowboy Classic last year.

As harsh as it sounds those games are not meant to be affordable to the average fan but rather showcase the team (or brand) in a prime television slot and draw alumni in from the surrounding region. The Cowboy Classic for example was not really for the season ticket holder and certainly not for students but for the same crowd whofo to every bowl game.

In the end, I would rather see Michigan play in China on TV than play App St. at home and in person for $75. At least the student athletes would get the unique experience and privledge to travel abroad and experience another culture. 


October 9th, 2013 at 10:59 PM ^

When you play abroad, normally you sacrifice a home game. That's a disservice for current students who don't have the means to travel to that game. I think students should get every home game possible to them.


October 9th, 2013 at 11:40 PM ^

That's true in most cases but the NCAA as we know is very open to creative interpretation of it's rulebook. For example, they have the Hawaii exemption which allows the visiting school to play a 13th game if they play a non-conference game in Hawaii. Since the NCAA is all about money I could see them allowing a school to play 13 games if the game where important enough.


October 9th, 2013 at 11:12 PM ^

is the possibility that an away game gets played internationally. In a situation where, say, Miami could get a big check to move the game to the Bahamas or maybe Cuba at a future date and would still come to Ann Arbor for the other half, that seems like an awesome spectacle with no downside.

Don't know if they could keep most of the payday to make it worth their while or how those negotiations would go down, but there are a couple schools that could be in a position to schedule a home and home with Michigan and find a lucrative contract in the islands, Mexico or Canada.


October 9th, 2013 at 11:36 PM ^

More "Home and Homes" with good teams around the nation would be cool. Something like Oklahoma or UCLA would be better than scheduling teams like Central or Delaware St. But nothing outside of the U.S.


October 10th, 2013 at 1:24 AM ^

I barely remember this because I was 7 but State played Wisconsin in Tokyo in 1993.  I remember it because my parents had friends over to stay up late and watch the game.  I'm not in favor of Michigan doing it, but the fact that I remember that from when I was 7 is probably part of why teams like State sign up for stunts like this


October 10th, 2013 at 2:19 AM ^

I'm on board, would make an excellent excuse to go visit London if it were at Wembley like the NFL ones are.

But yeah, I'd rather see the AD put the energy into scheduling a home and home with Texas or FSU or something.


October 10th, 2013 at 5:58 AM ^

Those Brits, and I know first-hand from my British friends living and working in America, they will watch any sporting event on espn, at any given time. Put Michigan in London at their biggest stadium, and it will be televised around the world and if, by chance, we could be named home team, we'd have 90,000+ or whatever their largest stadium is, learning all our fight songs and cheering mightly as we take on any to be named foe. That's just the way they are. We would become London's adopted team, not unlike Russell Crowe, owner of the S. Sydney Rabbitohs adopting Michigan as his college football team. They are different, but in a cool way.  I like it.


October 10th, 2013 at 3:44 AM ^

If it was played the first week, before school started, it would be a fantastic experience for the players. I think it'd be great. It is a bit odd though, nobody cares about football abroad.