June 16, 2016
ANN ARBOR — Paramus Catholic (New Jersey) High School will pay $10,345 to play St. Frances Academy (Maryland) at Michigan Stadium on Sept. 2.
According to a formal facility rental contract, obtained by MLive through a Freedom of Information Act request, Paramus will cover the expenses for event — which takes place one day before Michigan opens its 2016 season against Hawaii.
Paramus will pay $2,300 to use the field and an additional $1,000 to use the locker rooms at Michigan Stadium. The two schools will have the facility from 5:30-9:30 p.m. on Sept. 2.
Additional charges are included for cleaning ($2,500), facility staff ($720), HVA/first responders ($1,500), police ($1,275) and parking attendants ($300). Game personnel will cost approximately $750 for the event.
The contract was signed by Paramus Catholic president James Vail on May 20. Michigan Director of Operations and Event Management Shelly Fabrizio signed the agreement May 5.
Earlier this month, Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh said the game between Paramus and St. Frances was not his idea.
“I haven’t been involved in that,” Harbaugh said.
Asked whose idea it was, Vail said the concept came across his desk some time ago — but the date didn’t work until this year.
While Vail and Paramus are listed as the primary renter for the facility on Sept. 2, he did say he wasn’t sure (at that time) if Paramus and St. Frances would share the fees and split the ticket gate, or if Paramus would take care of it all and keep the gate.
Either way, Michigan will see no money (and spend no money) on the event.
ESPN also reported earlier this month that Harbaugh and Michigan’s coaching staff are prohibited from attending the game due to NCAA rules. Paramus’ players can, however, be on campus Saturday for an unofficial visit when Michigan takes on Hawaii.
“(An event like this) came up a long time ago and initially, I didn’t think it was a great idea because I wouldn’t do this if we had to miss school,” Vail said last week. “But as it evolved, and it landed on Labor Day weekend, you don’t miss school. So, for us Jersey folks, Labor Day and Memorial Day weekend are kind of sacred to spend at The Shore. But if the kids and their families want to spend their weekend at the Detroit airport and the hotel and do this and pay for it, it’s fine with me because we’re not missing any school time.
“Since the families are paying and we don’t miss any school if that’s what (the football team) wants to do (then I’m good with it).”
MLive also requested contract information for the upcoming “Battle at the Big House” that will feature games between 14 different Michigan high schools from Aug. 25-27.
Michigan denied that request because the school does “not yet have responsive records.”