Laker Football to Play at Fifth Third Ballpark in 2007

Grand Valley State University and the West Michigan Whitecaps announced a joint effort that will bring the first-ever collegiate football game, The Fall Classic presented by Centennial Wireless, to Fifth Third Ballpark. The Lakers will host the Warriors of Wayne State University on Saturday, September 29, 2007. Kickoff is set for 7:00 p.m.

The two-time defending NCAA DII Football National Champion Lakers enter the 2007 season with a 28-game winning streak, the nation's longest in any division of college football.

"We are excited to bring Laker Football to Grand Rapids and Fifth Third Ballpark in a "Throwback" game like when the Detroit Lions played at Tiger Stadium and the Cleveland Browns played at Municipal Stadium," said Grand Valley State Director of Athletics Tim Selgo. "It is an honor to partner with the West Michigan Whitecaps organization, one of the best organizations in professional sports," added Selgo.

While Fifth Third Ballpark is primarily used for minor league baseball, the venue has played host to a multitude of other events in recent years, including concerts, collegiate baseball games and carnivals. The GVSU-Wayne State game, however, will be the first football game played in the stadium. "We're very excited to be partnering with Grand Valley to bring college football to Fifth Third Ballpark," said Matt Costello, Whitecaps Director of Outside Events. "Grand Valley State came to us with this exciting opportunity and the timing was perfect. We're planning to re-sod the field following this season, so it was the right time for us to try hosting a football game.

Grand Valley State will be wearing throwback uniforms for the game. GVSU will go back to the Laker logo used on its football helmets prior to the 2000 season, along with light blue jerseys featuring black trim and pants.

"Our football team is excited to play the first-ever football game at Fifth Third Ballpark," said GVSU head coach Chuck Martin. "Fifth Third Ballpark is a wonderful place to watch a baseball game and we think it will make a great venue for a college football game," added Martin.

In addition, Grand Valley State and the West Michigan Whitecaps have agreed to donate a percentage of the proceeds raised from the game to the Grand Rapids Public Schools.

"We are pleased to announce that a portion of the proceeds from the game will go to the Grand Rapids Public Schools in helping fund their City Wide Student Council, whose goal is to promote leadership, development, diversity awareness, community service, health/wellness, and interest in, and commitment to, life-long learning," added selgo.

Ticket prices will be $15 and all seats are reserved. Grand Valley State college students will have a student seating section and tickets will be $3. Grand Valley State season ticket holders and current Grand Valley State students can reserve tickets by calling the Grand Valley State ticket office at (616) 331-8800 or the general public and single-game ticket purchasers can call the West Michigan Whitecaps at (616) 784-4131 or 800-CAPS WIN to purchase tickets.



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