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Victory Cannon rivalry between Central Michigan and Western Michigan to be played off-campus in 2020

The game would be the first in-conference “neutral-site” game for the Mid-American Conference since 2016.

NCAA Football: Miami (Ohio) at Central Michigan Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

The Battle for the Victory Cannon, considered by many locals to be the second-biggest college sports rivalry in the state of Michigan, has been played on-campus for all 90 editions, dating back to 1907.

In 2020, that’s set to change, as Central Michigan announced on Wednesday afternoon they’re moving the 2020 edition of the rivalry game to Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan. CMU, who is the host of the rivalry game this year, is expected to be the designated home side and will keep the gate, per The Detroit News.

The news was first reported by The Detroit News’ Tony Paul on his Twitter account, and later corroborated by multiple sources.

CMU Athletics send an email early Tuesday afternoon regarding a “special announcement” for the 2020 football season scheduled for the next day, and listed various speakers for the event, including CMU president Bob Daveis, CMU athletic director Michael Alford and Detroit Lions president Rob Wood, but did not elaborate further.

This will be the first time since 2016 that an intraconference matchup will be played at an off-campus for the Mid-American Conference, with the last instance being NIU vs. Toledo at U.S. Cellular Park in Chicago, Illinois.

“We are excited to bring a marquee game to Detroit, a critical area for the future of our university,” said Davies via press release. “This is an outstanding opportunity for us to enhance our engagement with and outreach to students, alumni and businesses in Southeast Michigan.”

“Ford Field has been the location of many great experiences for CMU Football, and this is an opportunity to create another iconic experience for our program and our university,” Alford said, also via press release. “CMU’s continued success means out-of-the-box thinking. Bringing this game — and the events surrounding it — to Detroit allows our athletics program to help engage thousands of people who are passionate about CMU.”

This will be CMU’s 11th game at Ford Field, with their most recent game played at the venue being the 2019 MAC Football Championship.

With the game being considered a CMU home game, CMU season-ticket holders and students will have the opportunity to procure free or discounted tickets for the event. CMU will also be provding a shuttle service for the event, with more details to come as the date approaches.

The first 2,000 students to claim a ticket will get one free thanks to “sponsor support”, with student tickets going for $10 afterwards. Current CMU students will be limited to one ticket, and can be redeemed starting in the fall.

Tickets for the general public will start at $10 for a reserved endzone seat, with other options including lower endzone reserved seats ($15), reserved sideline seats ($25) and reserved sideline center seats ($40) and will be available starting June 1.

The game will be played on Saturday, Oct. 17 at a time to be determined. Television and streaming information will be announced at a later date.