Gators, Wolverines set '17 date

  • Brian Bennett [ARCHIVE]
  • ESPN.com | December 19, 2013

Michigan and Florida will open the 2017 season against one another in the Cowboys Classic at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, the schools announced Thursday.

The game, which will be held in prime time on Sept. 2, 2017, will mark the third meeting between the Wolverines and Gators and the first one in the regular season. Michigan beat Florida 41-35 in the 2008 Capital One Bowl and 38-30 in the 2003 Outback Bowl.

Florida will be paid $6 million for the game, a source familiar with the negotiations told USA Today Sports.

The Gators have not played a nonconference game outside the state of Florida since going to Syracuse in 1991.

"You don't get these opportunities very often,'' Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley said in an official statement. "Our schedule has been pretty consistent through the years. We were presented this opportunity and just thought it was something that our fans would embrace, our program would embrace. It would give us great national visibility. Obviously, a very difficult ballgame against a storied program -- that excites us."

Michigan opened the 2012 season in the Cowboys Classic against Alabama, losing 41-14.

"We are excited to make a return trip to Dallas for the Cowboys Classic against Florida," Michigan coach Brady Hoke said in a statement. "This is a great way to reach our fan base in the South and to continue to expand our recruiting efforts in the state of Texas. Our goal is to have as many Michigan fans at the game as possible."

Each school gets 25,000 tickets for the game. AT&T Stadium is home to the Dallas Cowboys.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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