- Andrea Adelson, ESPN Staff Writer
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West Virginia officially announced that it would play James Madison at FedEx Field in Landover, Md., on Sept. 15, 2012.
The Mountaineers are guaranteed $2.3 million for the game, at least $500,000 more than they would get for a home game in Morgantown. West Virginia also could receive additional revenue in potential incentives based on game attendance. The Mountaineers will have no ticket purchase requirement for the neutral site contest, no game or stadium operations expenses and minimal travel cost.
This will be the first time West Virginia plays at FedEx Field.
“This is a great opportunity for our football program to play in the Washington, D.C. market,” athletic director Oliver Luck said in a statement. “Our players will have a chance to play in an impressive NFL stadium, located in an area where we have a growing and passionate fan base. Our University also has drawn numerous students from that area for many years.
“With the ever-changing world of college football and with Big East expansion, it is not a given that we will be able to schedule seven home games every year. This game gives us a chance to make significant revenue over and above a typical home game, while keeping expenses at a minimum.
"Also, it is important to note that we will be playing a quality FCS opponent, who won the NCAA Division I-AA national championship in 2004. JMU certainly has a following in the D.C. market, and we are not responsible for a guarantee to them, which makes this neutral site game even more attractive.”
High quality FCS opponent is right -- James Madison is perhaps best known for beating Virginia Tech last season.