Notre Dame, Army talk to Yankees

Updated: May 22, 2009, 10:45 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

The old Yankee Stadium hosted some of college football's greatest moments. The new Yankee Stadium also might host college football -- and the Fighting Irish are interested in writing the first chapter in its gridiron history, the school's athletic director said, according to The New York Times.

While stressing that no dates have been discussed, Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick said the Yankees are open to college football at the new stadium. The school has been in touch with the Yankees to express its interest in being one of the first two teams to play there, according to the report.

"We've been in contact with Yankee Stadium and asked and inquired," Swarbrick said, according to the Times. "We will be discussing games with them, but we haven't entered into any substantive discussions."

On Thursday, Army said it, too, had been in touch with the Yankees about playing one or more games at the new stadium, according to Newsday.

"We've had preliminary discussions with the Yankees about playing there, and we do have interest in playing a game or games in Yankee Stadium," said Bob Beretta, Army's senior associate athletic director for communications, according to the report. "We met with them on a couple different occasions, toured the new facility. There's significant interest in forming a partnership to play there."

Ideally, Swarbrick said, Notre Dame would love to play Army at the stadium in 2013 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of their 1913 game, according to the Times.

In that landmark game at West Point, the Irish utilized the forward pass to great success to beat the Black Knights 35-13, popularizing what had been up to that point a little-used strategy. The results influenced other teams to adopt the forward pass, in effect changing the game.

If there's football at the new stadium before 2013, Notre Dame still would like to be involved, Swarbrick said. But playing the 100th anniversary of the 1913 game in New York would have great meaning for the Irish, he added, according to the report. Although the 1913 game was not played at Yankee Stadium, which had not yet been built, later games in the series were played there.

"It would be of great historical significance for us if it would be Army," Swarbrick said, according to the report. "We would love that. Some of the most significant games in the history of college football involve those two schools and Yankee Stadium."

Beretta told Newsday: "It's a big part of the tradition of college football to have Army games at Yankee Stadium. We can't say right now that it's going to happen. But we would like it to happen and we hope the Yankees feel the same way."

The Yankees did not immediately return calls seeking comment, the Times reported.