Editor's Note: This is the fifith and final weekly preview
installment leading up to the "Battle At The Ballpark" on Saturday,
Oct. 3, at Fifth Third Ballpark.
Game This Saturday: The Ferris State University football team will square off against the Michigan Tech Huskies in the "Battle At The Ballpark" on Saturday, Oct. 3, at Fifth Third Ballpark in Comstock Park, Mich. Kickoff for the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) encounter is set for 7 p.m. (EDT) and will be played on the home surface of Minor League Baseball's West Michigan Whitecaps, who are an affiliate of the Detroit Tigers. FSU will be the home team and the game will serve as a fundraiser for the Bulldog football program.
Series Information: Ferris and Michigan Tech will square off for the 59th time in series' history. MTU leads Ferris in the all-time series' between the two teams by a 31-23-4 count heading into the "Battle At The Ballpark". The Huskies own a current six-game series' winning streak and beat FSU 21-7 last season (10/4/08) at Sherman Field in Houghton.
Fundraising Opportunity: The "Battle At The Ballpark" represents a tremendous fundraising opportunity for the Bulldog Football program. The funds raised from this revenue-producing event will be utilized to help offset the operating costs of maintaining a competitive Division II football program and provide additional opportunities for student-athletes. The partnership between FSU and the West Michigan Whitecaps will be a 50-50 split, meaning the Bulldogs will receive 50% of whatever dollars are raised in the event from ticket, concession and sponsorship sales. Be sure to pick up extra tickets for your family and friends for this outstanding event!
Ticket Information: General public tickets are $10 with all college students and those is grades K-12 being charged $5 per ticket. The game will be a no-pass event and everyone will be required to purchase a ticket. To purchase tickets in advance to the "Battle At The Ballpark", please stop by the FSU Athletics Ticket Office (cash/check only) or call the West Michigan Whitecaps Ticket Office at (616) 784-4131. More information on ticket sales can also be obtained by calling the FSU Athletics Ticket Office at (231) 591-2888.
Online Ticket Link: Tickets for the "Battle At The Ballpark" can now be purchased online at this link below:
Parking: In general, Ferris fans will park in the north lot at Fifth Third Ballpark with Michigan Tech fans parking in the south lot. Parking rates are $4.00 at Fifth Third Ballpark for cars and $7.00 for buses and RV's.
Tailgate Information: Tailgating for the "Battle At The Ballpark" will start at 4 p.m. (ET) on game day with the gates to the ballpark opening at 5 p.m. (ET). Two bands will play outside the venue as part of the pregame activities, including Saraph and Sargent Avenue. The Sargent Avenue Band features former Bulldog football player Jordan Moore. A "Cornhole" Tournament (popular bean bag toss game) will also take place.
Busing: Buses will be available to transport FSU students to Fifth Third Ballpark. The buses will leave from Top Taggart Field in Big Rapids on a first-come, first-serve basis starting at 3:30 p.m. (ET) on game day.
Health Fair To Take Place: A health fair will be part of the pregame activities surrounding the "Battle At The Ballpark" and take place near the South gates to the stadium. The FSU schools of Pharmacy and Optometry in addition to the nursing and dental hygiene programs along with the Birkam Health Center will be participating in the free health screenings. The health fair will feature informational tables for those interested in a variety of medical areas and include screenings for things such as glaucoma, blood pressure, pulse, BMI, blood glucose, lipids, hemoglobin A1c and oral/dental.
Youth Activities: The FSU ROTC & National Guard will offer several activities for youth, including a rock climbing wall and inflatable obstacle course as part of the "Battle At The Ballpark". Additionally, Fifth Third Ballpark features "Playland", a kid-friendly playground located just past the first base lawn area. The structure features four slides and a crawl tube as well as several ladders, climbers and perches. It is also home to an inflatable bounce house and designed for children ages 5-12.
Cheer Clinic: The FSU Cheerleading Team will hold a clinic for middle school students in conjunction with the "Battle At The Ballpark". The clinic, which is open to all middle school students ages 11-13, will run from 4 p.m. (ET) to 6 p.m. (ET). The $25 cost for the clinic includes a t-shirt to wear during the game and those attending the clinic will be able to cheer with the FSU Cheerleading Team during the third quarter of the football game. For more info, please contact FSU head coach Stacy Smith by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Army Virtual Station: The U.S. Army will have a special virtual station on hand for fans as part of the pregame activities. The virtual station will be located inside a semi-truck wrapped in Army logos and provides an insider's look into being an American soldier. Those interested will be allowed to test simulated state of the art weapons that are currenly deployed worldwide.
Gridiron Club Tailgating: There will not be a designated tailgate parking area for FSU Gridiron Club members, but the group plans to congregate around motor homes set up in the North Parking lot at Fifth Third Ballpark for the "Battle At The Ballpark". Parking lot attendants will help point club members towards the motor home area.
National Anthem: A group of 20 Big Rapids Middle School Choir Students have been selected to attend and will perform the national anthem prior to the game's kickoff at the "Battle At The Ballpark".
MTU Pep Band: The infamous Michigan Tech Pep Band plans to bring 100 to 150 members and be part of the halftime events at the "Battle At The Ballpark". The Huskies Pep Band, which bills itself as "The Cream of the Keweenaw, The Pride of Pastyland, The Second Best Feeling in the World," is known for its often irreverent cheers and taunts as well as unique uniforms consisting of Black and Gold striped bib overalls and creative hats.
Event Hotel Information: The Comfort Suites® Grand Rapids North will be the official "event hotel" for the "Battle At The Ballpark" and is easily accessible from U.S. Highway 131 across the street from Fifth Third Ballpark for those needing accommodations for the game in Comstock Park. Please call (616) 785-7899 for more information and reservations. Fans will need to reference the "Battle At The Ballpark" rate to receive the hotel's special rate for the game.
About Fifth Third Ballpark: Fifth Third Ballpark, which was originally known as Old Kent Park, opened in April of 1994 and has a total seating capacity of 10,071 in a variety of formats, including box seats, luxury suites, deck/patio areas and lawn/standing room locations. The ballpark is one of the only professional baseball stadiums in the country to be constructed strictly with private funds and without taxpayer dollars.
The Field Setup: A seating diagram has been developed for those planning to attend the contest. The field will run from the third base line to right field. FSU students will sit behind the endzone along the third base line with general public seats running down the first base line. Michigan Tech fans, marching bands and rocket youth football players will occupy the space behind home plate. The Whitecaps' press box facilities will be utilized for media behind the home plate area as well. The complete diagram can be found online at this link: http://www.ferrisstatebulldogs.com/ballpark/information/seatingdiagram
The Stadium Setting: While Fifth Third Ballpark is primarily used for minor league baseball games, the venue has played host to a multitude of other events in recent years, including concerts, high school and college baseball games along with carnivals. The Ferris-Michigan Tech game will be the second college football game to be played at Fifth Third Ballpark following the "Fall Classic" in 2007 when Grand Valley State defeated Wayne State in another GLIAC matchup. The ballpark also hosted two high school football games in 2008.
One Of Three At Fifth Third: The "Battle At The Ballpark" is one of three football games currently scheduled over a three-week period this fall at Fifth Third Ballpark. In addition to the FSU-MTU game, a pair of high school games are also on tap and will follow with Forest Hills Northern facing Coopersville on Oct. 9 and Grand Rapids Catholic Central squaring off with Caledonia on Oct. 16.
Concessions: Fans attending the "Battle At The
Ballpark" will be able to purchase food and beverages from several
different concession areas located at Fifth Third Ballpark
throughout the contest. A wide variety of popular concessions and
treats will be offered for the contest. Fifth Third Ballpark's
concessions are located all along the concourse and satellite
concessions located throughout the Ballpark.
Visit The "Battle At The Ballpark" Website: Complete information on the game and the activities surrounding the "Battle At The Ballpark" can be found online. Please visit the new FSU Athletics Website at www.ferrisstatebulldogs.com and click on the "Battle At The Ballpark" icon (lower left-hand side).