Michigan State football has a tough time fighting Labor Day weekend, and for the next two years anyway, the Spartans won't do it. They have moved the opener this September from Saturday to Friday night (September 2nd) to open their season in Spartan Stadium against Youngstown State. The match up is a dud to begin with, but playing it on a holiday week end encourages empty seats. That was the issue last year for the opener against Western Michigan. Dud non conference match ups are tough enough to sell, but throw in holidays and the task becomes that much greater. The Big Ten network will televise the 7:30pm Friday night opener which at least will see a bit more festive. It doesn't hurt the high schools since they don't battle the holiday weekend either, playing most of their games on Thursday.
The 2012 game already was set for August 31st, a Friday, against Boise State. That seems like a better match up, but again a night game in likely warm conditions will provide a more spirited atmosphere. If these games sell more tickets look for more of the same in future years.