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Posted on Wed, Aug 22, 2012 : 1:49 p.m.

Dave Brandon says Michigan football team will host a night game in 2013

By Nick Baumgardner


Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon said he plans another night game at Michigan Stadium in 2013.

Steve Pepple |

Due to scheduling conflicts and an unusually high amount of night-time kickoffs in 2012, Dave Brandon elected to not plan a primetime home game for the Michigan football team this season.

The 2013 campaign, however, is a different story.

"We think we're playing lots of night football (in 2012), and to just jam one into the schedule this year just to say we're having another one at home didn't make a lot of sense," Brandon said during a speaking engagement with the Detroit Economic Club on Wednesday. "We'll have a night game in 2013. We will.

"We'll try to do something even better than we did the last time."

Michigan hosted its first ever home night football game in 2011 against Notre Dame, a contest that ended with a 35-31 Wolverine victory.

Brandon wouldn't say who, exactly, Michigan would host for its second night game in 2013 -- but did confirm several times that the current plan is to host one.

Asked if the primetime foe could once again be Notre Dame, Brandon replied "maybe." He did say, though, that he won't schedule a night time game just to do it -- meaning a 2013 primetime contest against Central Michigan or Akron won't happen.

"My plan is to play one night game at Michigan Stadium (every year), it didn't work out this year," he said. "We'll try again in 2013 and try to find the best matchup with the most fan interest and we'll look at that every year. It doesn't have to be the same team every year, in fact, it's probably better if it's not the same team every year.

"We'll make that decision, and we'll make that in concert with the networks. And we haven't done that yet."

Presently, Michigan's home dates in 2013 are against Central Michigan (Aug. 31), Notre Dame (Sept. 7), Akron (Sept. 14), Minnesota (Oct. 5), Indiana (Oct. 19), Nebraska (Nov. 9) and Ohio State (Nov. 30).

Brandon said he would not schedule a home night game for November, due to potential weather risks -- eliminating Nebraska and Ohio State. The Big Ten also currently has legislation prohibiting teams from hosting league night games in November.

Asked how deep into the season he'd consider hosting a night game, Brandon said he could see one happening possibly in mid-October.

"The further you get into October, the more risks you take, so (maybe) mid-October," Brandon said. "But I think once you get later than that we could run into some (problems). If you get into really nasty weather with our parking issues and temporary lighting, it gets difficult.

"Comfort of our fans (is important). You kick one off at 8 p.m. in November and the winds are howling with the wind chill factor, it's tough. ... We're trying to make it a celebration, positive event. Not a toughness test. That's why I think doing it earlier in the season makes sense."

Nick Baumgardner covers Michigan sports for He can be reached at 734-623-2514, by email at and followed on Twitter @nickbaumgardner.



Wed, Aug 29, 2012 : 6:46 p.m.

Really it doesn't matter.U will fill the stadium anyway.


Wed, Aug 29, 2012 : 6:45 p.m.

Bring thr Golden Domers in to play at night.


Thu, Aug 23, 2012 : 1:28 a.m.

State game this year should be a night game. Schedule should not matter. Big ten should not tell us when or how many night games to have. The exposure is good. Look at the SEC and how they have them every week playing on prime time. Michigan is second to none of these. Play State at night.


Thu, Aug 23, 2012 : 12:37 a.m.

Notre Dame is the obvious choice for a night game in 2013. I think the 2013 Michigan/MSU game in East Lansing will be a night game as well. I believe Michigan is MSU's only marquee home game next season, but not sure. And their AD wants to have one night game a season. So, I think Michigan will be in two night games next season. As for 2014, I think that Utah or Michigan State will be the candidates, as far as home games.. I know Dave Brandon said no night games for rivary games, but I think that he's going to change his mind. Just a hunch.

Basic Bob

Thu, Aug 23, 2012 : 12:11 a.m.

Akron would work for me.


Wed, Aug 22, 2012 : 10:19 p.m.

A night game against Minnesota - so what? That's where mid October is.


Wed, Aug 22, 2012 : 9:02 p.m.

No problem with no 2012 Big House night game. Having one in 2013 is about right. I would bet the 2013 U of M/MSU game in East Lansing will be at night but that's a story for another time. Glad to know Michgan was a winning record at night. Should be good luck.

Terry Star21

Wed, Aug 22, 2012 : 8:32 p.m.

BTW Nick, it sure seems historically that Michigan has done extremely well at night games. Any data available on the night games (after 8pm start) record ? Seems like we have only been playing them for ten (10) years or so (I think ???)

Terry Star21

Wed, Aug 22, 2012 : 11:26 p.m.

Thanks Nick. on the Barbers on campus once told this story about Michigan playing a night game (though unplanned) near the end of the WWII and winning. Is that possible, any info ?

Nick Baumgardner

Wed, Aug 22, 2012 : 8:47 p.m.

Michigan officially counts night games as contests beginning after 5 p.m. local time. The Wolverines have now played 36 of them (counting three last season), and are 25-11 in said contests. Michigan is 1-0 at home, 20-5 on the road and 4-6 in neutral site venues (bowl games).

Terry Star21

Wed, Aug 22, 2012 : 8:17 p.m.

I agree that, I think one night game at home a year would be fine. Never thought I would because I am a die-hard 'noon-game' person, leaving the rest of the day to enjoy that Michigan victory - which is much fun. Dave Brandon has done a very good job in scheduling, along with everything else he does, and I believe he seriously considers input from players, coaches, other schools, etc. - and yes even us faithful ! MgoBlueForTiM......playing & winning in any environment.


Wed, Aug 22, 2012 : 11:53 p.m.

Terry is right again. You know why ? Hmmm, could it be because once he reads my posts they usually end up being repeated on one of his own posts. At least the posts that make sense. They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but at a certain point the baby birds need to fly on their own. I am at least hoping that while he was cutting and pasting my post onto his own, he may have picked up on the insight I offer regarding the inner-workings of the Michigan program, the game of football and what it means to be a Michigan Man.


Wed, Aug 22, 2012 : 7:38 p.m.

I think Dave is doing a fine job. As far as his marketing abilities I say Dave, let it all hang out. A lot of old farts, (like me) want to cling to cozy memories of days gone by. I say think upon the past with fond memories but it's time to move ahead. I live in Calif. which not long ago was a very wealthy state. Calif took a nose dive not long ago and now, cities are filing bankruptcy or thinking about it and this financial crisis didn't take long to happen. Dave was hired to get Mich. marketing value up and running where it needs to be in these most difficult times and don't think for a second that Mich. athletics can't bottom out and nose dive financially. Dave Brandon is doing a fine job and I for one commend Dave on his marketing skills and no folks, I don't like all the uniform variations but so what, if it works and the majority does seem to like what Dave is doing then job well done Dave.

Blue Marker

Wed, Aug 22, 2012 : 8:20 p.m.

Whenever a man wearing a jet-pack delivers the game ball the marketing department has officially over-stepped its bounds. As Brady Hoke would say "Forgodsakes, this is Michigan". Do we really need to have Fonzie jump his motorcycle? Sometimes it's a fine line between clever and cheesy.

Terry Star21

Wed, Aug 22, 2012 : 8:18 p.m.

Hailmary....that was a real nice piece.

Ghost of Tom Joad

Wed, Aug 22, 2012 : 7:53 p.m.

while i, and i'm sure everyone else, appreciates the increased revenue, it cannot be done at the loss of the real value behind the "brand." That is what so many of us are concerned about with Brandon. Yes, he is making the athletic department some quick cash. But will it diminish the overall product of which he is trying to sell? To me, what he does cheapens Michigan, and thus cheapens the brand he so often touts.


Wed, Aug 22, 2012 : 7:24 p.m.

Looks ND is going to be the night time rivalry. Pretty good one at that!


Wed, Aug 22, 2012 : 7:24 p.m.

Its not like they need to have a night game to fill the stadium! LOL

Ghost of Tom Joad

Wed, Aug 22, 2012 : 7:20 p.m.

Of course it won't just be any night game. It will be the "Under the Super Duper Special -insert random noun associated with stadiums- Game" sponsored by Arby's. It will have it's very own patch that players wear on their uniforms, which of course, will be yet another variation of the uniform rolled out, just in time to up jersey sales. Can't we just have the excitement of a night game without the cheeky peripheral nonsense that seems to come with everything that Dave Brandon does?

Terry Star21

Wed, Aug 22, 2012 : 8:23 p.m.

Ghost.....there's always something bothering you. Just learn to relax, sit back and enjoy what Michigan football gives us, because it's a pretty great package - one that every other university in the nation wishes they had. Be happy !


Wed, Aug 22, 2012 : 7:18 p.m.

"Michigan hosted its first ever home night football game in 2012 against Notre Dame, a contest that ended with a 35-31 Wolverine victory." This game was played last year, in the 2011 season...unless we've already played ND this year and nobody knew about it ;)

Nick Baumgardner

Wed, Aug 22, 2012 : 8:44 p.m.

You're too kind, Terry!

Terry Star21

Wed, Aug 22, 2012 : 8:25 p.m.

It's okay Nick, you give the rest of us some hope. I myself make a mistake sometimes each sentence I write here (I try to blame it on the auto-spell check).

Nick Baumgardner

Wed, Aug 22, 2012 : 7:43 p.m.

You're right, RS. Typo on my part. It's been fixed.


Wed, Aug 22, 2012 : 6:15 p.m.

That Notre Dame night game was unbelievable. They shouldn't keep such a contest and all the national exposure such a classic gives, buried away at noon- while folks across the country watch their local teams. Some traditions slightly change for better ones. Keep all the cake games with MAC schools, the IndianaG, Minnesotas and Massachusetts during the day- no one outside the state without Michigan roots cares. Good call by Brandon.

Rabid Wolverine

Wed, Aug 22, 2012 : 6:07 p.m.

Looking at that schedule and the restriction of night games in November, Notre Dame is the only game that an evening kick-off makes sense for.

Nick Baumgardner

Wed, Aug 22, 2012 : 7:42 p.m.

That was my thought, too, Rabid. Minnesota (Little Brown Jug) seems to be the only realistic choice. We'll see.