Following up on the Fanshot below, here's the official MSU release on the "Celebrate the State" series. Bullets:
- Four games each against Central, Western, and Eastern. One home game per year for nine years (2011-2019). Two or three years with both a home and road game.
- The first road game will be in Mount Pleasant in 2012. Kalamazoo in 2015. Ypsilanti in either 2018 or 2020.
- It's been over a century since we played in any of those locations.
As to rationale for the whole thing, here's Mark Hollis' explanation:
The series provides an opportunity for competitive games, positive celebrations, and economic benefits. Coming off the 2009 NCAA Final Four in Detroit, Michigan State continues to provide positive economic stories for the state of Michigan. [Emphasize on cringe-inducing phrase is mine.]
It's still hard for to believe you don't create a bigger pot of money to make all four schools better off by playing all 12 games in a stadium that seats 72,000, rather than 30,000, people. Are the three MAC schools giving up something in return for the emotional boost for their fans and PR benefits from playing at home against an upper-division Big Ten team?
Update: As posted in the comments below, Joe Rexrode reports the financial arrangements here look pretty darn good for MSU.