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Posted on Thu, Jun 7, 2012 : 11 a.m.

UConn AD: 2013 game against Michigan won't be moved to larger venue

By Nick Baumgardner

The University of Connecticut, not Michigan, has complete control when it comes to a venue for the 2013 meeting between the two schools.

Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon said as much this spring.

And earlier this week, Connecticut athletic director Warde Manuel took that one step further.

"We have a contract to play at Rentschler Field," Mauel told the Hartford Courant. "And that’s where we’re gonna play”


The Michigan football team's 2013 road rematch with UConn will likely be played in a 40,000-seat venue, Huskie AD Warde Manuel said this week.

Melanie Maxwell |

The Wolverines and Huskies are scheduled to meet in Hartford, Conn. on Sept. 21, 2013 as part of a return matchup from Michigan's 30-10 home win over Connecticut in 2010.

The one lingering issue from Michigan's side of things with regard to the future road date has been stadium size.

Or, lack thereof.

Connecticut's Rentschler Field holds roughly 40,000 people, a stark contrast to the 113,090 fans that watched the two teams battle in Ann Arbor two seasons ago.

Brandon hasn't denied the fact that he'd be open to a venue swap to give the game a larger audience, but again, he says that's up to UConn. Not him.

"Certainly there are ways to make that game bigger, in terms of venue, and we'll have conversations in that regard," Brandon said in April." But right now, UConn's in control of that decision."

As of now, it appears the game will go on as planned at Rentschler Field. Unless, of course, Michigan opts to buy out the contract.

The price for that? A $2 million payout, according to The Courant.

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



Thu, Jun 7, 2012 : 8:47 p.m.

semperveritas--maybe you should read the article more accurately. Nothing in the article suggests that Dave Brandon wants to cancel the contract. You're making assumptions. True, he'd prefer it to be held in a larger arena but that's also so more Michigan fans can attend. If Warde Manuel wants to hold the game in UConn's 40,000 on campus football field, that's his right. If he wants to hold it there and not maximize his profits, that's his right. If he is holding fast to hosting the game on campus so he forces Michigan to pay him money to get out of the game, that's his right. I say Michigan should play the game wherever UConn schedules it, and then pound the crud out of the Huskies. Or maybe that's what Manuel expects Michigan to do to UConn and he wants to keep the eyewitnesses to a minimum.


Thu, Jun 7, 2012 : 8:01 p.m.

is there no vestige of 'living up to a contract left' in our ACADEMIC institution? holy cow, we committed to the game at storrs. those of us living on the east coast were told 3 years ago that we'd have a football game in our area------now OUR only concern is the amount of $$$ to be made. are we not a public institution which should value giving one's word. this athletic dept is a long way from being destitute. has the M become the $ ? honor the contract-----play the game in UCONN's facility and hope we are good enough to win.

Al Hunter

Thu, Jun 7, 2012 : 7:25 p.m.

UConn doesn't want to play us. They want us to 'get mad' because they won't move it and pay them off. If we don't cancel it they will try to move it at the last minute!


Fri, Jun 8, 2012 : 3:10 a.m.

I'm not so sure. Warde Manuel--a Michigan guy earlier in his career--is playing hardball for his university. He knows that playing Michigan will be at least a regionally televised game, if not national, and he also knows that he can increase exposure if he moves it to Foxboro or the Meadowlands, or even yankee Stadium. But he knows that Michigan fans will come out in droves in all those areas. It is a give and take--ultimately, I think he is bluffing, the game will be played, and it will be in a northeast stadium, with at least 60000 fans.


Thu, Jun 7, 2012 : 6:35 p.m.

Still profitable to buyout for $2M, pay them $1M to play at Michigan, and still pocket the remaining $2.5M, which would also pump huge $M dollars into the Michigan state economy. I expect they will play as scheduled, however.


Thu, Jun 7, 2012 : 4:50 p.m.

Does everyone know Warde Manuel played at Michigan and was also an associate athletic director at U of M? And there's a typo in the spelling of his last name in line 5.


Thu, Jun 7, 2012 : 4:37 p.m.

This game will never happen. Book it.

Craig Lounsbury

Thu, Jun 7, 2012 : 10:11 p.m.

hail2thevict0r , I agree the math probably makes some sense even though we could quibble the numbers a bit. But I am sort of leaning toward SEC Fan (I curse that 6 letter sequence) that hopefully Michigan would honor the commitment. Its not like we didn't know going in the size of the stadium.


Thu, Jun 7, 2012 : 7:06 p.m.

I hope Michigan integrity is better than that...


Thu, Jun 7, 2012 : 6:48 p.m.

I mean, it's pretty simple math though. UM stadium holds 110,000+ people in it. $65 is the average ticket price for a home game. 110,000 x 65 = $7,150,000 just in ticket sales for a home game. Let's just assume that each person spends $5 at a concession stand (a really low number, essentially the price of a water). That's 110,000 x 5 = $550,000. That's a total of around $8 million for a home game (a very low ball number). How much do away teams get for playing the game? Like $500,000 - $2,000,000 (maybe in a dream world)? Even if you assumed we would get $2 million for playing the game there and $2 million to buy out of the game we're still up in either situation around $6 million just by playing it at home. So like I said, this game isn't going to be least at UConn's stadium.

Craig Lounsbury

Thu, Jun 7, 2012 : 5:08 p.m.

a bold prediction. According to the story there is a 2 million dollar buy out. I imagine there would be a time limit as well. Certainly U of M wouldn't have a problem scheduling a paycheck opponent to fill the slot at home. But they already have 2 MAC teams slotted. So that eliminates those paycheck teams I would think.

Blue Marker

Thu, Jun 7, 2012 : 4:07 p.m.

I remember when Bill Martin announced this game he teased "We signed a home-and-home with a BCS opponent". With all due respect to UConn, I was more than a little disappointed. I was hoping for an Oklahoma State or Arkansas type of team. Instead we get a basketball school.


Thu, Jun 7, 2012 : 3:30 p.m.

I think it'd be a nice change-of-pace, but I also understand the economics.

Craig Lounsbury

Thu, Jun 7, 2012 : 3:10 p.m.

So the University of Connecticut actually wants to play a home game at home?