KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — Western Michigan University was forced to make a change to its 2020 football schedule just two months before the season begins.
The Broncos had been scheduled to play Colgate University to open the season on Sept. 4 at Waldo Stadium. The Raiders play in the Patriot League, which has banned air travel to athletic events and overnight stays during the regular season.
Colgate University is in Hamilton, New York, about an hour southeast of Syracuse. A bus trip with the Canadian border closed to Kalamazoo would take the team close to 10 hours, and they would have to return to Upstate New York after the game on Friday night.
WMU has scheduled another Football Championship Series team to take Colgate’s place.
The Broncos will now host the Seawolves of Stony Brook University for the season opener on Sept. 4.
Stony Brook is also located in New York. However, they play in the Colonial Athletic Association, which has not announced any travel restrictions for their member schools.
Stony Brook was set to open their season on Aug. 29 against another member of the Patriot League, Fordham University. That game was also canceled due to Patriot League’s guidance for fall sports that also prohibits any non-conference game before Sept. 4.
In a press release, WMU Head Coach Tim Lester said about the change in opponent, “We are looking forward to opening the 2020 season with Stony Brook. We know coronavirus has changed, and will keep changing, how we operate this season. We will continue to operate with an abundance of caution for the safety and well-being of our student-athletes, staff members, fans and WMU community.”
No decisions have yet been made for attendance, seating and tailgating policies for the 2020 football season at Waldo Stadium.