EAST LANSING, Mich. — Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis is reportedly planning another highly-creative way to involve the Spartans basketball team in a military theme. And this time, the idea could become a significant money-maker.
According to Sports Illustrated’s Seth Davis, Hollis is laying the groundwork for four games played basically simultaneously on Veterans Day weekend in 2013 at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
Hollis did not name the other seven teams to be involved in the hoops extravaganza, but did confirm that Michigan State would play in one of the games. They would start 15 minutes apart and look to “simulate the madness that takes place during the first week of the NCAA Tournament,” Hollis told Sports Illustrated, which reports that he also hopes to involve Fort Hood and the 12 military bases in the Dallas area.
Last month, the Spartans traveled to Ramstein Air Base in Germany to play UConn. Last year, they tipped off against North Carolina in the Carrier Classic on the deck of the USS Carl Vinson off Coronado, Calif.
Michigan State lost both of those games, but they provided memorable experiences for the players — President Obama attended the aircraft carrier game — and put the program in the national spotlight early in the season. The games were played before a combined total of 11,197 fans.
This event has the capability to do something the other two did not: make big money. Cowboys Stadium seats 105,121 for football, but 108,713 attended the 2010 NBA All-Star Game there. However, the basketball capacity would have to drop below that All-Star Game figure in order to accommodate the placement of four courts.
The stadium, which was built with significant taxpayer money, is a $1.2 billion asset for Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. According to the SI report, the Cowboys would dictate financial terms through negotiations. Hollis is reportedly discussing this venture with Charlotte Jones Anderson, daughter of the owner and executive vice president with the Cowboys.
Hollis said he got the idea for his hoops dream while touring the stadium last month with other members of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Committee. The 2014 Final Four will be at Cowboys Stadium.