OPINION: It’s time to bring back Detroit Mercy football

It is time for Detroit Mercy to bring back its football program. As a current student at UDM I feel like there is an opportunity for the University to bring the most prestigious college sport back to campus. I believe bringing back the football program would increase the overall social life of campus and would be a substantial financial boost to the University.

The amount of excitement that comes from a fall college football game is spectacular. UDM football will build a better overall university experience. Home games could be surrounded by events like tailgating parties in the parking lots and pep rallies in Calihan Hall. It would also immediately increase enrollment because UDM would need to build a football team and staff. There would also be an opportunity to build a marching band and expand the cheerleading and dance teams.

Not only would a football program help build awareness for the University and increase enrollment, it would help put UDM on the map for not only in-state but out-of-state students. By bringing in the metro community into supporting a local Detroit college team, it would be a great way to gain interest in high schools near Detroit to attract student-athletes. The games could be played on the Wayne State campus at Tom Adams Field or even possibly Ford Field in downtown Detroit. Students, faculty and alumni could participate in marketing the program and even help facilitate the games and events.

Other small colleges in Michigan have a successful football program. For instance, Alma College football team just won their 2nd straight MIAA title. Alma student enrollment is 1,245, which is considerably less than UDM, yet they continue to have success. Plus, UDM is in a much better location by being in downtown Detroit. There is a great opportunity for UDM to entice the local community to support the Titans football program and attract local athletes.

Research conducted by the BusinessInsider.com determined that the average annual total revenue for a college football program is more than $31.9 million. I believe bringing back the football program would help the University fund many other programs and future upgrades to the campus. With this gained revenue, UDM could build practice facilities and locker room space to accommodate for the program.

The Detroit News reported that Central Michigan was paid $1.75 million for the 2023 game against Michigan State and will earn $1.5 million for their upcoming games in 2027 2030. Those financial numbers will probably increase in the future due to the popularity of the sport. Imagine the possibilities for UDM with the possible extra funding. After a few years, it might even be possible to buy extra land and build a home stadium near campus.

There also has been multiple stories of ex-players becoming successful in the NFL and helping build up the university’s reputation and even given a potential financial boost. For example, current NFL player Max Crosby who played his college football at Eastern Michigan, recently gave $1 million to EMU's athletics department.

UDM did have a football team from 1896 to 1964, so there is a strong lasting football tradition. The team practiced and played its home games on McNichols campus. The team even won a national championship in 1928 under head coach Gus Dorais, with a record of 9-

A lot has changed since UDM football program was disbanded in 1964. Since then, there has been a considerable increase in broadcast contracts, ticket sales and sports retail.