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Motor City Bowl moves game site

DETROIT -- The Motor City Bowl will finally take place in the Motor City.

After five years at the Pontiac Silverdome, the bowl game will move to Ford Field in downtown Detroit and will match the Mid-American Conference champion and the Big Ten's seventh bowl-eligible team.

The Big Ten and Motor City Bowl signed a four-year contract Monday.

''I think it's a real natural relationship,'' MAC commissioner Rick Chryst said. ''We play each other a lot. There's healthy competition in September, early part of October, now we think it'll extend into December.''

The Motor City Bowl seems to be a good fit geographically for the Big Ten, according to commissioner Jim Delany.

''We feel like we can be successful here. We feel like our fans will come to the game,'' Delany said. ''We think the MAC and the Big Ten are going to bring a terrific Midwestern audience to national television.''

The only potential problem, as organizers see it, is the possibility the Big Ten won't have seven bowl-eligible teams.

''That's part of the mystique of it,'' said George Perles, Motor City Bowl chief executive and former Michigan State head coach. ''I think we will. If it doesn't, that would be too bad. We'd have to go to an at-large team, but I think it's going to happen.''

ESPN will broadcast the Motor City Bowl at 5 p.m. Dec. 26