DETROIT (WOOD) — Michigan State University announced the Spartans will close the 2023 regular football season by hosting Penn State at Ford Field on Black Friday, shifting the high school football state championships to Saturday and Sunday.
The Michigan State-Penn State game will air in prime time on NBC at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 24, according to the university.
The Michigan High School Athletic Association football state championships will move from Friday and Saturday to Saturday, Nov. 25 and Sunday, Nov. 26.
Noting that the situation was a “one-year deal,” MHSAA spokesperson Geoff Kimmerly said the organization will work with schools to lay out the finals schedule if a district has an objection to playing Sunday.
“Generally, we’ve played the even-numbered 11-player divisions on Friday and the odd-numbered divisions on Saturday,” he told News 8 Wednesday. “I don’t know that we’ll necessarily hold to that schedule … depending on what we see as the developing situation in terms of who can play when…”
There was never any discussion of moving the finals anywhere else, he said.
“Honestly, Michigan is so blessed to have Ford Field,” he said. “There are a lot of states playing outside in the cold and the elements for their football finals. And our semifinals can get pretty cold, pretty snowy, as most people know. And so we’re so fortunate to have Ford Field as it is. Just sliding things back one day — while obviously we didn’t take that lightly, by any means — being in Ford Field is still certainly worth it. And hopefully this doesn’t inconvenience people too much. We think everything can still fit here pretty well.”
Kimmerly said the MHSAA was looped in to the conversation about the move about a month ago. He said Ford Field and MSU are always very accommodating to help schedule MHSAA events, and this was an opportunity for MHSAA to help them.
“For one year only, obviously,” he said. “We wanted to do what we could to help and to provide an assist there.”
He said with changes coming to the college football schedule, shifting it earlier in the year, MHSAA doesn’t anticipate another scheduling conflict in coming years.
Details about tickets to the MSU game at Ford Field have yet to be announced. The university said season ticket and student season pass holders who already paid to go to the game at Spartan Stadium will be refunded for tickets and parking.
On Thanksgiving, the Detroit Lions will play the Green Bay Packers at 8:15 p.m. at Ford Field.