The Mid-American Conference, the Big Ten Conference and the Detroit Lions announced today a six-year agreement (2020-2025) as primary partners of the Quick Lane Bowl played annually at Ford Field. Beginning in 2020, the MAC will return as a primary bowl partner of the annual bowl game played in Detroit.
“We are pleased to return as a primary bowl partner with the Detroit Lions for the annual Quick Lane Bowl and to continue our long-term relationship with this wonderful bowl game,” said MAC Commissioner Dr. Jon Steinbrecher. “The Lions and Ford Field have built a wonderful bowl game that will provide an outstanding experience for our students and fans. Ford Field and the city of Detroit have also been outstanding hosts for our annual football championship game and it is only fitting that we return to this bowl game as a primary partner to face the Big Ten Conference.”
Since the start of the Quick Lane Bowl in 2014, MAC programs have been featured in two of the first five Quick Lane Bowls – Central Michigan in 2015 and Northern Illinois in 2017.
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 primary bowl partner with the Detroit-based Motor City Bowl (1997-2008) and the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl (2009-2013).
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. 7 at Noon ET (ESPN or ESPN2) at Ford Field between the MAC East and West Division Champions. This game will be the 14th MAC 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.
With the addition of the Quick Lane Bowl, the MAC has expanded its bowl opportunities during the next six-year cycle beginning in 2020. The MAC will have a minimum six guaranteed bowl opportunities.
At future date to be determined, the MAC will reveal its complete bowl partnerships for the next bowl cycle (2020-2025).