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Friday Night Lights Coming to Ross-Ade Stadium

With new lights comes new opportunities.

Notre Dame v Purdue Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

Friday night football is likely coming to Ross-Ade Stadium in the near future. This afternoon the Big Ten conference announced that starting in 2017 it will profile more teams on Friday night in prime time:

Beginning in 2017, the Big Ten will play six prime-time games on Fridays, likely to be televised by an ESPN channel, FOX, or FS1. None are slated to be BTN. The games will be limited to September and October. And the league is committed to six Friday games for the next six seasons as it begins a new television contract.

“We have thought a lot about this,” Big Ten senior associate commissioner for television administration Mark Rudner said. “(The six Friday night games) represent about six percent of the total home games that we will have in any year over the next six years. We think it is a great opportunity for significant exposure and more favorable use of national platforms for football.”

The article later goes on to say that the games would be limited to September and October. Usually there is a Friday night game or two on the opening weekend of the season, but the Big Ten has rarely moved beyond that. This season there are 65 Friday night games, but only one at a Big Ten venue (Furman at Michigan State).

it seems likely this is right up Purdue’s alley. The big money games will still stay on Saturday, but for a program looking for exposure (and with new lights!) Purdue seems primed to sit in a Friday slot. Let’s start speculating when Purdue will be on Friday night next year!

September 9 vs. Ohio - Right now this is the Saturday season opener, but what better time to use the new lights than the very first home game after they were installed? Pittsburgh at Penn State this week might be a more likely choice, however. Bowling Green is also at Michigan State, Towson is at Maryland, Cincinnati is at Michigan, Eastern Michigan is at Rutgers, Western Kentucky is at Illinois, and Florida Atlantic is at Wisconsin in terms of games where the Big Ten is the home team. Oklahoma at Ohio State will almost certainly be on Saturday night.

September 23 vs. Michigan - This is already Homecoming in a terrible decision to have the Wolverines come to West Lafayette for Homecoming, so I am betting it would stay on Saturday.

October 7 vs. Minnesota - This one could be a good choice. You remaining Big Ten slate that week is Maryland at Ohio State, Michigan State at Michigan, Penn State at Northwestern, Illinois at Iowa, and Wisconsin at Nebraska.

October 28 vs. Nebraska - Getting a “name” program on Friday could be a call here. Your other choices are Indiana at Maryland, Rutgers at Michigan, Michigan State at Northwestern, Penn State at Ohio State, Wisconsin at Illinois, and Minnesota at Iowa.

The nice thing is that with the lights coming, Purdue can actually be picked for things like this. With more 3:30pm games too I am betting it will boost attendance.