Central Michigan vs. Western Michigan football game coming to Ford Field in 2020

Tony Paul
The Detroit News

Detroit — The state's second-biggest football rivalry is taking its show on the road in 2020.

For the first time in the history of the series, Central Michigan and Western Michigan will play off-campus, with their game this season set for Ford Field in Detroit, according to a source with knowledge of the scheduling.

Western Michigan and Central Michigan will meet at Ford Field in mid-October.

The source requested anonymity because they weren't allowed to publicly comment on Mid-American Conference scheduling.

The 2020 MAC schedule will be released at 3 p.m. Wednesday.

Minutes later, officials from CMU and the Lions are expected to announce the CMU-WMU game, which will take place on a Saturday in mid-October. The exact date will be announced Wednesday.

The game will be a CMU home game, and CMU will reap the entire gate, according to the source.

There have been talks about doing a two- or four-year series in Detroit, but WMU wasn't interested.

The biggest concern among CMU fans, of course, will be making the game accessible for students, as the CMU-WMU game always is the biggest of the season for both universities. CMU officials are planning to book shuttles for their students.

More: MAC notes: Brandon Johnson a bright spot for struggling Western Michigan

The Saturday football game will anchor a week's worth of events for CMU, including alumni events and student functions. The university wants it to serve as a big recruiting pitch for prospective students.

The CMU-WMU football series dates to 1907, with WMU leading the series, 50-38-2. WMU has won seven of the last nine meetings, and CMU hasn't won on its campus in Mt. Pleasant since 2010.

Both teams are expected to be among the best in the MAC in 2020, Tim Lester's fourth as head coach at WMU, and Jim McElwain's second at CMU.


Twitter: @tonypaul1984