The Michigan football program is prepared to match a program-record payout to a visiting team, while in-state opponent Western Michigan is set to collect a lucrative amount for a two-game series with the Wolverines.
Contracts for recently unveiled nonconference games with the Broncos and the University of Texas, El Paso, were obtained by MLive through a public-records request, showing Michigan ready to pay up in 2026 and 2029.
We’ll start with UTEP, which is set to travel to Ann Arbor for a game on Sept. 19, 2026 — the program’s first at Michigan Stadium. A contract inked by schools in April guarantees a payout of $1.9 million on or before Feb. 1, 2027, a figure that matches a previous high paid out to Hawaii for a 2022 game in Ann Arbor.
In fact, the original contract — which has since been amended — called for the game to be played three days earlier, on Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2026, likely a clerical error.
More: U-M football inks series with WMU, fills 2026 nonconference schedule
Otherwise, contract term are standard — the Wolverines’ conference, the Big Ten, will have the right to name the officials for the game, holds television rights to broadcast the game, and UTEP will be allocated 400 complimentary tickets to the game with the option of purchasing 2,000 additional seats.
It will be Michigan’s first-ever football game against the UTEP Miners, a member of Conference USA.
As for Western Michigan, the Wolverines are on the hook to pay a combined $3.1 million for two games on Sept. 5, 2026, and Sept. 1, 2029, in Ann Arbor, according to the contract signed in April.
Michigan will pay WMU a fixed amount of $1.5 million for the 2026 game and $1.6 million for the game in 2029. A cancellation fee of $1.5 million is in effect and will be levied against either school.
Like the UTEP game, WMU will also receive 400 complimentary tickets to the game and the option to purchase 1,600 more.
Michigan is 8-0 all-time against Western Michigan, which it has played twice in the last decade — a 49-3 win in 2018 and, most recently, a 47-14 victory in 2021. The Broncos were paid $1.4 million for their game in ‘21.
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