The 2011 season is shaping up to be a season of firsts.
With construction taking place at Wickes Stadium to add synthetic field turf, a new scoreboard and lights, the Cardinals will play all of their home games at night instead of the typical noon kickoffs.
On Oct. 20, Ashland visits SVSU for a primetime showdown that will air on CBS Sports Network. The game is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. and is the first time either one of the schools will play on national television.
“This is a tremendous honor to be representing SVSU, the GLIAC and Division II in this nationally televised game against Ashland,” said Mike Watson, SVSU Athletic Director. “This game will give us, Ashland and the GLIAC the opportunity to showcase to college football fans the high level of talent that plays in our schools and conference.”
In a game that could have GLIAC conference championship implications, coach Jim Collins is excited for the national exposure.
“Anytime you can play on television it is a huge deal, but to be playing a team like Ashland, a team that has been one of the premier teams in the conference the past several years, makes it that much bigger of a game,” Collins said.
The game is one of six that CBS will broadcast on its sports network. The others are Central Washington at Humboldt State (Sept. 8), Bloomsburg at Indiana (Sept. 15), Missouri Western State at Washburn (Sept. 22), Colorado School of Mines at Colorado State-Pueblo (Oct. 6), and Augustana (S.D.) at Minnesota State-Mankato (Oct. 27).
SVSU was one of only three teams in the GLIAC that didn’t have lights in the stadium. With the addition of the lights, the Cardinals will play all five home games and two of their road games at night.
The additions, which cost SVSU $1.2 million, are expected to be completed by Aug. 1. Photos of the work in progress can be found online at athletics.svsu.edu.