So it looks like Michigan State will get to play in an NFL stadium after all.
It would have happened this year, but the economy forced Western Michigan to give up its game against MSU at Ford Field in favor of an additional Spartan home game. Now, it appears all-but certain that Sparty will play in an NFL stadium in 2010, as stadium construction delays are forcing Florida Atlantic to move the game.
FAU now is considering three options - two of which would be very conducive for Spartan fans. The Palm Beach Post reported that Ford Field in Detroit and Soldier Field in Chicago are the front-runners, with Land Shark Stadium (home of the Miami Dolphins, a park formerly known as Dolphins, Pro Player and Joe Robbie Stadium) as the backup.
The expectation would be to sell 50,000 tickets in either Chicago or Detroit - while the Florida option would be a last resort that would lose the university money.
I think the smart call here is to go to Detroit. The capacity is only about 60,000, and the Detroit area is home to about 80,000 State alums, as opposed to about 22,000 in Chicago. If you're FAU, a sellout here is a virtual necessity. Either option would work well, and I suspect would draw a good crowd.
But if I'm FAU, and the whole of my athletic department's budget is hinging on turning a profit, I go for the sure thing. That's Detroit.