(Long Island, N.Y.) Sure, it could have been better. If this had happened a few years ago in the semi-original Yankee Stadium, it may have held even more prestige. But the fact is that NCAA football – not a big deal in this part of the country – may just become the talk of the town during the holiday season.
The Yankees announced that the inaugural New Era Pinstripe Bowl would take place on December 30, 2010 and pit the Big East team with the third-best conference record against the Big 12 with the sixth-best record in their conference.
This will actually be the second college football game to be played at the new Yankee Stadium, with the team announcing earlier that they will host the Notre Dame – Army game in November.
When was the last time that ‘The House That Ruth Built’ hosted a bowl game, you may ask? Back in December of 1962, Nebraska defeated the University of Miami by a score of 36-34 in the Gotham Bowl. Good things come to those who wait.
Yankees team president Randy Levine kicked off the press conference and announced that the game would be broadcasted by ESPN and that the first reason the game will be successful is because of where it is going to be held. .
“I think no matter what the sport, every kid that grows up wants to play at Yankee Stadium,” he said. “I just returned from Asia recently and wherever you went, people talk about wanting to play baseball or any sport at Yankee Stadium. That’s the great appeal.”
New Era, the baseball cap and apparel company, signed a four-year title sponsorship agreement for the game that will involve teams from the Big East and Big 12. In addition, the game will always be scheduled to take place between Christmas and New Years Day.
Managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner added, “We all know that across the street holds a rich tradition. Most of it baseball, but frankly there’s a lot of football there, too – both professional and collegiate.
“We made it a point when we built this stadium that it was a year-round, multi-sport venue and we knew that there would be more to come,” continued Steinbrenner. “Football is going to be a big part of it in the years to come, but we’re going to begin with two great games this year, particularly this Pinstripe Bowl.
“I think that it’s going to be a great day for New York City.”
New Era CEO Chris Koch spoke of how sponsoring this game shows the company’s commitment to the game of football. “It’s definitely going to be an historic event and we’re proud to be a part of it,” he said. “I’m proud to have the New Era name attached to it.”
Jesse Palmer, the former Florida Gator quarterback and now an ESPN college football analyst, recalled how he felt playing in the 1998 Orange Bowl versus Syracuse and the tradition that stadium had and how this game will hold similar memories for the players.
“Yankee Stadium, the Mecca…so much history, not only when you think of the New York Yankees, but also the home of the New York Giants from 1956 to 1973,” he said.
Palmer’s geography may be off by a block or so, but everyone got the point. No matter how you look at it, this is going to be a memorable event at a majestic venue.