Mid-American Conference (MAC) Commissioner Dr. Jon A. Steinbrecher announced today in conjunction with Detroit Lions and Ford Field President, Rod Wood, that the MAC has secured a two-year contract extension to host the Marathon MAC Football Championship Game in Detroit through the 2021 football season.
“We are pleased to extend our relationship with Ford Field for another two years,” said MAC Commissioner Dr. Jon Steinbrecher. “Ford Field and the city of Detroit have been outstanding hosts for our football championship game. The facility is among the best in the country and provides our student-athletes and fans with a premiere championship experience.”
The MAC is the only non-autonomous FBS conference to sustain a championship game at a neutral site.
The MAC has a long association with Detroit and Ford Field as the MAC has held its Marathon MAC Football Championship Game as a neutral site championship event at Ford Field since 2004. Also, the MAC played the first-ever college football game at Ford Field as Toledo faced Boston College in the 2002 Motor City Bowl.
Previously the MAC was a bowl partner with the Detroit-based Motor City Bowl (1997-2008) and the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl (2009-2013). In October of 2014, the MAC announced a six-year (2014-19) backup agreement with the Quick Lane Bowl, owned and operated by the Detroit Lions and Ford Field. In 2015 the MAC appeared in the Quick Lane Bowl as Central Michigan dropped a 21-14 decision to Minnesota from the Big Ten Conference.
Ford Field is home to the NFL’s Detroit Lions, and is a premiere sports venue that has hosted many major sporting events, including the 2006 Super Bowl, the 2009 NCAA® Men’s Basketball Final Four® and the 2010 NCAA® Men’s Frozen Four.
This year’s Marathon MAC Football Championship will be played on Saturday, Dec. 2 at Noon ET on ESPN at Ford Field and will feature the MAC West Division Champion Toledo Rockets against the East Division Champion Akron Zips. This game will be the 14th MAC Conference Championship Football Game hosted at Ford Field, and the 21st overall in the history of the Conference as the first seven years were hosted on campus.