College Football at the New Yankee Stadium a Throwback to the Past
There has been so much criticism of the new Yankee Stadium that it was long overdue to finally hear some good news coming out of the billionaire's playground in the Bronx. Oddly enough, it was not that the pseudo caste system of seating areas was going to change, and neither were the $10 hamburgers.
And the fences in this bandbox will remain as close to home plate as they are right now.
No, what finally made the replacement feel like the original hasn't even occurred yet and will not until any possible post-season games are over and done with. And this baseball-only park will become a multi-purpose facility to make it feel like home again.
This week, Yankees officials announced that four college football games would be played at the new stadium beginning in 2010 with a classic match-up between Notre Dame and Army on November 20.
"The Yankees are proud to host two of the nation's premiere college football programs and excited to bring college football to Yankee Stadium," said Hal Steinbrenner, the team's Managing General Partner. "We look forward to carrying the great tradition of the Notre Dame-Army game from the original Stadium into our new home."
Back in the 1940s, the rivalry between these two programs was at its peak and their battles took place in the Bronx in four consecutive seasons. Who could forget the contest coined the "Game of the Century?" The 1946 scoreless tie between the Number One ranked Army squad and the Number Two Fighting Irish has been revered as one of the - if not the - greatest game in the 140-year history of collegiate gridiron.
Another historical game between these teams took place in 1928. During halftime with the score knotted at zero, the famous Notre Dame head coach Knute Rockne gave his "win one for the Gipper" speech, spurning his team on to a 12-6 win.
All of this was certainly not lost on Notre Dame athletics director Jack Swarbick, who said, "Any student of Notre Dame football history knows the meaning of the Notre Dame-Army rivalry and, in particular, the history of that rivalry at Yankee Stadium. It's fitting that a Notre Dame-Army game will be the first football event in this fabulous facility, and it's also fitting that the 50th meeting in this great rivalry will take place in a venue with such great tradition for both programs."
Army will also play three additional games at Yankee Stadium: versus Rutgers in 2011, Air Force in 2012 and Boston College in 2014. "Playing football at Yankee Stadium was a big part of Army's football history from the 1920s through the 1960s," Army AD Kevin Anderson said. "This exciting partnership with the Yankees allows the Army program to harken back to its past. Our fans will enjoy the state-of-the-art amenities offered by Yankee Stadium and will provide an unforgettable experience for our fans, players and Corps of Cadets. We feel that being associated with a world-class organization like the Yankees will help carry our marketing and branding efforts to new heights."
It appears that this is going to be a positive public relations move for everyone involved. When the new place was constructed, it was done so with nostalgia in mind. The limestone entrance and faade around the ring of the interior were good starts. This is another step in the right direction.
Now if we can only do something about those $1,250 seats.