AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) - After years of debate and speculation. UMass is moving its football team up to the FBS, formerly called Divisioin I -A .
With that move comes another, UMass will play its future home games in Foxborough.
"I'm glad to see them make it finally where they should be", says Amherst's Al Ohlson. He continues, "I am going to miss the local games that I could come to without travelling the long distance."
It's a two hour drive from Amherst to Foxborough.
UMass Athletic Director John McCutcheon says, "We know that there will probably be some people that won't want to make that drive and it's unfortunate when you make a move of this type, of this magnitude, you can't make everyone happy." He continues, "In the long run to be able to be in front of the majority of our alumni base within a half an hour of the facility, it was a trade off we couldn't pass up."
After the 2011 season McGuirk Stadium will basically be used as a practice field for the Minutemen.
"We'll continue to use it every day in practice and there are other events we use it for, women's lacrosse plays there and we may have other opporutunities to make it available for some Western Mass high school games and things like that, there are a lot of opportunities for McGuirk and we'll take advantage of that", says McCutcheon.
UMass played one game at Gillette Stadium in 2010. It didn't go too well. New Hampshire beat the Minutemen 39-13. The Minutemen aren't going to practice much in Foxboro, so it could lose some of its home field advantage.
UMass football head coach Kevin Morris says, "This will be our home field, I mean look at this place, this place is magnificant." He adds, "That's one of the games last year, we have a chip on our shoulder about, but it's going to be our home from here on out and we have to defend our home turf and that's defending Gillette."
UMass will play one game in Foxborough in 2011 against New Hampshire. The rest of its home games will be in Amherst. The move to Foxborough happens in 2012, when the Minutemen join the Mid-American Conference.