The Mercyhurst football team will travel to the University of Michigan’s home stadium in Ann Arbor, which has one of the largest seating capacities of any college football stadium in the nation, to play Slippery Rock University in 2014.
This unique opportunity stemmed from an interesting history between the University of Michigan and Slippery Rock University.
It all began in the early ’70s when the University of Michigan became interested in Slippery Rock University because of their unique name.
They began announcing “The Rock’s” football games and scores to the students. As Michigan’s interest increased, they invited Slippery Rock to play against Western Division rival Shippensburg University on Sept. 29, 1979, at the Big House in Ann Arbor.
The Michigan staff organized a “Band Day” and invited all of the local high school bands to play before, during and after the game.
Over 61,000 fans attended the game, which set a record for highest attendance for an NCAA Division II football game. In 1981, Michigan and Slippery Rock arranged a second game. Slippery Rock lost both games in ’79 and z’81 at Michigan.
The 2014 football season will highlight a third visit to the Big House in Ann Arbor with Slippery Rock playing against the Mercyhurst Lakers, as their schedules already have them playing each other that same day.
Mercyhurst Athletic Director Joe Kimball believes this is a great opportunity for the school.
“Mercyhurst University is excited and grateful to the University of Michigan and to Slippery Rock University for choosing them to play in front of thousands of fans in Michigan’s Big House,” he said.
Since both teams made the decision recently, the game details are still limited but services for students should be included.