KALAMAZOO, MI (WKZO) – This weekend was one to remember. The 10th anniversary of September 11th. People remembered where they were 10 years ago on 9/11. The NFL season started up after months of wondering if a season would even happen. The University of Michigan beat Notre Dame in the first ever night game at historic Michigan Stadium. And the Tigers improved their season win record at home in Detroit.
But there is one event from the past weekend that won’t be remembered by many, the Western Michigan / Nicholls State Football Game, under the lights at Waldo Stadium.
The opening night at Waldo Stadium, called Comm-university, is usually a giant celebration with many former alumni in attendance to kick off the season. Comm-university night has been a proud Western Michigan University tradition since 1992. The all-day event is concluded with a night game starting at 7pm.
A large photograph hangs in the boss’s office of a packed Waldo Stadium on Comm-university night a few years back. There were over 30,000 in attendance. All the seats filled, even fans sitting on the grass to watch WMU’s mighty Bronco football team win the game. This past Saturday night less than half that many actually made it to Waldo stadium to see the game. The Broncos played a good game, the Bronco marching band’s performance was superb and the half time fireworks show was the best one ever. The party was thrown but the guests didn’t come.
If only the sky was clear and the rain had stayed away. If only there were no competing college football or professional baseball events happening at the same time, the seats at Waldo Stadium would have been full.
Just up the road from Kalamazoo, 114,000 fans packed into the Big House and thousands more came to Ann Arbor for their party. The Wolverines and the Irish gave the fans a real show. Commentators have said the game was so well attended the school should look at scheduling more night games in future seasons.
It doesn’t motivate your football team to play to an empty house. It is obvious that if Michigan is going to play a night game the same time WMU is presenting a night game that the WMU game’s attendance will be less than it should be.
So, if Michigan continues its new tradition of a big game under the lights on the same day as Comm-university, the Bronco faithful will have to face a difficult decision. Schedule opposite the big Wolverine home night game and Bronco attendance will be low.
If you are a Bronco fan who chose Ann Arbor, the Tigers or just staying dry over cheering your Broncos on in person on September 10th, this Saturday is your day of redemption. Western’s biggest home game of the year is this Saturday afternoon. The boys from Central are coming to town and every Bronco fan needs to make being at Waldo Stadium the top priority of the day. We’ve put 30,000 fans in Waldo Stadium in the past, let’s do it again this Saturday.