Maize & Blue & ads

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The University of Michigan, which has resisted advertising in its football stadium since its completion in 1927, is in discussions with the Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Corp. about corporate sponsorship and signage in Michigan Stadium, the largest college-owned facility in the country.

"Those are the two big ones," said a university official who asked not to be identified. "I'm not saying it's going to happen tomorrow and I'm not saying it's narrowed to just two companies." Spokesman for both Ford and GM said they were not in a position to comment at press time. University Director of Athletics Bill Martin also did not return repeated calls.

The stadium's name will not be changed, but even the issue of signage has been hotly debated by alumni and fans. Two years ago, when the school installed video scoreboards at the cost of several million dollars, it turned down a request from Sony Electronics to install the scoreboards free of charge in exchange for the company name in the lower right corner.

The self-sufficient athletic department at Michigan has struggled with budget deficits the last three years.

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