Michigan State announced on Thursday that its 2011 football season will begin on a Friday night. MSU was originally set to play Youngstown State, an FCS team, on Saturday, Sept. 3. Instead the Spartans will take on YSU on Friday, Sept. 2. The game will kick off at 7:30 p.m. (Eastern Time) and be broadcast nationally on Big Ten Network.â†µ
Michigan State's 2012 season opener will also be on a Friday night. When it was announced last October that MSU will take on Boise State at home in 2012, it was also announced that the game will take place on Friday, Aug. 31. The BSU game will be broadcast in primetime on ESPN, which is part of the reason why MSU athletic director Mark Hollis opted to have the game be played on Friday. The other reason, which is the same for the Youngstown State game in 2011, is this:â†µ
"Since Michigan (K-12) schools don't begin fall classes until after Labor Day, the vast majority of high school teams will play their football games on Thursday that week, making this a great way for our fans to kick off the holiday weekend. By moving the Youngstown State game to Friday night, it's also our hope that the state tourism industry will receive a positive bump since most fans will now have the opportunity to make plans to enjoy the entire Labor Day weekend."â†µ
It seems like this could become a tradition for Michigan State with them opening the season on a Friday night two years in a row. It would certainly be a good one to maximize exposure at the start of the season, as there aren't usually many Friday night games in the Big Ten.