During his State of the Conference address on Tuesday morning, Mid-American Conference commissioner Dr. Jon Steinbrecher announced an extension of the MAC’s contract with the Detroit Lions and Ford Field to keep the conference football championship game in its current downtown Detroit location.
“We are pleased to extend our relationship with Ford Field for another three years, Steinbrecher said. “Ford Field and the city of Detroit have been outstanding hosts for out football championship game. The facility is among the best in the country, and provides our student-athletes and fans with a premiere championship experience.”
Steinbrecher also thanked Detroit Lions team president and CEO Rod Wood directly for the agreement.
The extension continues a unique relationship with the Lions dating back to 2004, with the conference title game having been played in Detroit for seventeen consecutive years prior to 2022. The MAC was also one of the conferences involved in Ford Field’s first bowl game, when the Toledo Rockets took on the Boston College Eagles in the 2002 Motor City Bowl.
The MAC is currently the only non-autonomous conference to play their championship game at a professional football venue at a neutral site, with the other four Group of Five conferences opting for on-campus locations.
The new agreement will keep the MAC football title game in Detroit until 2024. The talks come on the heels of a push by the Detroit Sports Commission to bring the Big Ten title game to Detroit, a bid which was rejected in April after the Big Ten re-committed to Indianapolis’ Lucas Oil Stadium until 2024.
The MAC Football Championship Game at Ford Field will kick off between the winners of the MAC’s East and West divisions on Saturday, Dec. 3 at noon Eastern Time, and is scheduled to air on ESPN.