On Monday night, Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel said Michigan will not play in any Friday night football games, but will most likely have to host a night game.
In a story from the Detroit Free Press, Manuel said the Wolverines will not play on Fridays whether at home or on the road, which was a policy before he started in March.
He said some of the reasons were because of high school football and fans, but the main reason is that about 60% of Wolverine season ticket holders don’t live within five hours of Ann Arbor.
“The main reason is the majority of our season-ticket holders, maybe 60% … are outside of the state of Michigan or a five-hour radius,” Manuel told the Free Press. “To get them here on a Friday, to have a game on a Friday, just doesn’t make sense for us and our fan base.”
The Wolverines position on the subject was already known and Manuel had already issued a statement on it, but the athletic director said he would’ve fought the ruling if he had to.
He did also add that the Wolverines may have to host a Saturday night game at Michigan Stadium in 2017 and beyond, but that he doesn’t know yet. There is a strong possibility the Wolverines will have to host a rare night game though.
“I’ve been AD at places we’ve had night games,” Manuel said. “You play them as they come when you need to, and if it is at night, we’ll play it at night.”
This all comes after it was announced that there will be six Big Ten Friday night games under new deals with ABC/ESPN and Fox.
This year, the Wolverines have only played one true night game, a 7 p.m. kick at Rutgers and will play one more, an 8 p.m. kick at Iowa.