JONESBORO, Ark. (6-23-2010) - Arkansas State University Director of Athletics Dr. Dean Lee announced Wednesday that the University of Illinois has been added to the 2011 football schedule. The game will be the Red Wolves' season opener and will be played Sept. 3 in Champaign at Memorial Stadium.
With a capacity of 62,870, Memorial Stadium will have the potential to draw one of the top crowds to ever witness an ASU football game.
"We are extremely pleased with the addition of the University of Illinois to our 2011 football schedule," said Lee. "The game is a great regional matchup and will provide another quality opponent to a schedule that will be very exciting for Red Wolves fans."
The game will be the third meeting between Arkansas State and Illinois, and the Red Wolves' fifth contest against a Big 10 opponent. The Red Wolves and Fighting Illini last met during the 2002 season, with Illinois winning 59-7. ASU and Illinois also met in the 1999 season opener, with Illinois prevailing 41-3. Both games were played in Champaign. Arkansas State's other two Big 10 opponents were Iowa in 2009 and Minnesota in 1998.
Illinois is the third non-conference opponent announced for the 2011 season, with Arkansas State receiving an $850,000 guarantee for the game. The Red Wolves will host Memphis Sept. 10 in a home-and-home series that will continue through at least the 2013 season, and Arkansas State will travel to Virginia Tech Sept. 17 for its fourth all-time matchup against the Hokies.
The ASU football team kicks off its 2010 season Sept. 4 at Auburn, with the home opener scheduled for Sept. 18 against Louisiana-Monroe. Season tickets for ASU's five home games are on sale at the ASU Ticket Office. For more information, contact the ASU Ticket Office at 870-972-ASU1 or the Red Wolf Club at 870-972-2401. Ticket information can also be found online at AStateRedWolves.com.