Detroit, Mich. – The Mid-American Conference (MAC) announced today a four-year contract extension with both Ford Field as host and Marathon as the title sponsor for the Marathon MAC Football Championship Game through the 2015 college football season.
This special announcement was made by MAC Commissioner, Dr. Jon A. Steinbrecher this morning at Ford Field. The announcement also celebrates the official kickoff to the 2012 college football season and began the MAC Football Media Day with each program’s head coach and two student-athletes also in attendance.
“Our relationship with Ford Field, the Detroit Lions and Marathon provides this conference, its fans and our member institutions -- coaches and most importantly our student-athletes -- the opportunity to showcase their talents in a superb facility to a national television audience,” said MAC Commissioner, Dr. Jon A. Steinbrecher. “This extension secures the Marathon MAC Football Championship Game will continue its proud legacy of great college football excitement from Ford Field in Detroit.”
This year’s Marathon MAC Football Championship Game will be Friday, Nov. 30 at 7:00 pm ET on ESPN2. The Marathon MAC Football Championship Game is the second-longest running college football conference championship game in the nation. In addition, with Ford Field as the host, this also makes the Marathon MAC Football Championship Game from Ford Field the second-longest consecutive venue outside of the SEC’s title game from the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.
“Having hosted numerous NCAA sporting events over the past decade, Ford Field is proud to have been home to the Marathon MAC Football Championship Game since 2004,” said Tom Lewand, President of Ford Field and the Detroit Lions. “We’re thrilled to continue this tremendous partnership with the MAC, its teams and their fans.”
Marathon began as title sponsor of the Marathon MAC Football Championship Game in 2003 when No. 14 ranked Miami, led by Ben Roethlisberger, defeated No. 20 ranked Bowling Green, 49-27. This season’s 2012 Marathon MAC Football Championship Game will be the tenth year for Marathon as title sponsor and this four-year contract extension will ensure the continuation of this relationship with the MAC through the 2015 college football season.
The MAC began staging a conference football championship game in 1997 and originally the game was played on campus sites through 2003. The game moved to Detroit in 2004 and this year’s 2012 Marathon MAC Football Championship will mark the ninth season for the game at Ford Field.
Since moving to Detroit, eight of the 12 MAC full members have appeared at least once in the Marathon MAC Football Championship Game in Detroit, led by Central Michigan, Northern Illinois and Ohio with three appearances each.
Tickets go on sale at 10:00 am Tuesday, July 24 for the 2012 Marathon MAC Football Championship Game. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster at 1.800.745.3000 or at ticketmaster.com
Founded in 1946, the Mid-American Conference is an NCAA Division I, 12-member conference that sponsors 23 championships and is one of 11 members of the Football Bowl Subdivison (FBS). With total enrollment of nearly 300,000 students, the league represents institutions of higher learning in six (6) states - Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, New York, and Ohio. In addition a 13th school – University of Massachusetts in Amherst, MA. -- is an affiliate member for football only.
Current MAC schools that hold full membership and the year they joined are -- East Division: University of Akron (1992), Bowling Green State University (1952), University at Buffalo (1998), Kent State University (1951), Miami University (1947), Ohio University (1946). West Division: Ball State University (1973), Central Michigan University (1971), Eastern Michigan University (1971), Northern Illinois University (1975-86, rejoined in 1997), University of Toledo (1950), Western Michigan University (1947). The University of Massachusetts (2012) competes in the East Division in football only. The conference office is based in Cleveland, Ohio.
Ford Field, the home of the Detroit Lions, is comprised of more than 1.82 million square feet with four levels of suites, a level of club seating, and a ground level designated for restaurants, concessions and retail. The $500 million complex boasts a seven-story atrium within the warehouse.
Ford Field, one of the nation’s most exciting and dynamic sports and entertainment venues, is located in the heart of Detroit’s burgeoning sports and entertainment district, which includes Comerica Park (home of the Detroit Tigers) and the historic Fox Theatre. Ford Field has successfully hosted the 2006 Super Bowl XL, 2007 WrestleMania 23, the 2009 NCAA Division I Men’s Final Four Basketball Championship, and the 2010 NCAA Men’s Hockey Frozen Four Championship.
MEDIA CONTACT: Ken Mather, Assistant Commissioner/Media & Public Relations, 216-566-4622 x301