Western Michigan Broncos
Dantonio explains why MSU is opening at Western Michigan
Western Michigan Broncos

Dantonio explains why MSU is opening at Western Michigan

Published Sep. 1, 2015 3:38 p.m. ET

On the list of opening-week games, No. 6 Michigan State's contest with Western Michigan stands out, not because it is a Big Ten-MAC matchup -- those are fairly common -- but for two letters. 

Those would be "a" and "t," as the Spartans are set to make the trip west from East Lansing to play the Broncos at Waldo Stadium in Kalamazoo. 

Part of a larger deal that also includes future visits to East Lansing from WMU, it is being called the "Celebrate the State" series. It began with a 26-13 win by MSU in East Lansing in 2013. 


"When we made the decision to do this (in 2009) and make it three for one, with one at a time going away to play, it was because we wanted to create a community in the state of Michigan," MSU coach Mark Dantonio said. "It was because the economy in the state of Michigan being what it was, we could help the economy in the state of Michigan. That's why we did it.

"We wanted to create a community event in Kalamazoo, we wanted to fill the hotels in that area. We wanted to bring commerce to the city of Kalamazoo rather than take this down to Florida and play somewhere else, someplace. I think we were slated to play Florida Atlantic in their new stadium at one point in time when we made this decision." 

If Dantonio had any complaints about taking his highly ranked team on the road against an up-and-coming program, he did not express them. 

"With that in mind, we're up," he said. "This is the time we're up. We did it against Central (Michigan) a few years back. I think it did the same thing for Central. It was a community event. I think it's good for the state of Michigan. I think that's why we've done it. It was a one-time deal. So it's three for one. Consequently they come here three different times. The payout is what it is. But it's beneficial to us. So it's a business deal as well.

"We're going to line up and play wherever they tell us to go." 


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