MONTGOMERY — Alabama State University’s Southwestern Athletic Conference opener against Mississippi Valley State will be played at Chicago’s Soldier Field and its season-ending game with traditional rival Tuskegee University will kick off two hours later than normal to accommodate a national television audience.
The two changes in the 2009 football scheduled were announced Thursday by ASU’s athletic department.
The Sept. 26 game against MVSU has been moved to Chicago’s Soldier Field as the Hornets and Delta Devils participate in the 10th annual Chicago Football Classic. Kick-off is at 4 p.m.
“This will be a great experience for our players, coaches and fans,” said Bama State head coach Reggie Barlow. “During my playing days at ASU, we played twice in Chicago and I remember it being an extremely fun trip. It will be awesome for our guys to have the chance to play in an NFL stadium.”
The 10th annual Chicago Football Classic’s mission is to support educational achievement, promote cultural excellence and showcase the spirit, energy and tradition of America’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities. The CFC attracts more than 50,000 fans for weekend events that include a college fair, a back to school block party, president’s reception, golf outing and coaches luncheon, pep rally and concert, Buckingham Classic Parade, and a Classic Marketplace showcasing a variety of vendors from the Chicagoland area.
The Chicago Football Classic also features a halftime Battle of the Bands between “The Mean Green Marching Music Machine” of Mississippi Valley State University and the Alabama State University “Mighty Marching Hornets.” The bands also are scheduled to perform at the Daley Center plaza the week of the game.
Alabama State’s Nov. 26 season-ending contest versus Tuskegee will be televised live on ESPNU, according to a recent announcement by the SWAC office. The Hornets and Tigers will kick off the granddaddy of all classics – the Turkey Day Classic — at 3 p.m. from historic Cramton Bowl.
“We are excited that folks around the country will have the chance to watch one of the great classic games,” said Barlow. “Having the opportunity to play on national television is great exposure for our football program and the university.”