1The Big Ten Conference today announced the Michigan at Minnesota football game, originally scheduled to be played on Saturday, Oct. 11, at the Metrodome in Minneapolis has been moved to Friday, Oct. 10, at 7 p.m. CDT, due to a potential facility conflict with the American League Championship Series. This change to the 2003 Big Ten football schedule was recommended by the Conference office and unanimously approved by the Big Ten Administrators Council.
The Administrators Council also conditionally approved rescheduling the Oct. 18 Michigan State at Minnesota football game to Friday, Oct. 17, at 7 p.m. CDT. The Michigan State-Minnesota game will be moved only if the Minnesota Twins advance to the American League Championship Series. The World Series is scheduled to begin at the home of the American League champion on Saturday, October 18.
The University of Minnesota will be financially responsible for all additional travel, hotel, administrative and other direct costs incurred by the University of Michigan and Michigan State University due to the rescheduling. In addition, Michigan and Michigan State fans unable to attend the games due to these changes may seek reimbursement for a documented, direct financial loss associated with unused game tickets, non-refundable travel and non-refundable hotel expenses. Fans seeking access to the reimbursement pool should contact their respective institution's ticket office and present appropriate documentation.
"The Conference and the Administrators Council regret having to reschedule football games to a Friday night," Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany said. "The Big Ten continues to support the protection of Friday night as a traditional high school football playing date. We also understand the negative effect that this change will have on our teams, their travel parties and fans. This result was considered to be the most feasible of several unattractive alternatives."
The Administrators Council further agreed to review the schedules and related policy for the 2004, 2005 and 2006 football seasons should the Metrodome not be available for use on dates previously approved for the playing of University of Minnesota home football games.
"The University of Minnesota appreciates the cooperation of Michigan, Michigan State and the Big Ten for agreeing to make this scheduling move so that these games can be played in the state of Minnesota," said University of Minnesota Athletics Director Joel Maturi. "I believe it is important for our University and the football program that we will be able to play these games at home in front of our fans. This decision also maintains the competitive balance within the Big Ten schedule, which was also a consideration.
"At the same time, we are very sensitive to playing on Friday night and the impact that will have on high school football. We want all high school football coaches to understand that this was the only viable solution to a difficult situation."