Big 12, Big East in new bowl game
NEW YORK -- The teams are set, one from the Big East, one from the Big 12. The site: The new $1.5 billion Yankee Stadium.
Now all the new bowl game in the Bronx needs is a name before its debut in December 2010.
"If you're looking for suggestions, maybe we should call it the Jeter Bowl," Bronx Borough president Ruben Diaz Jr. said Wednesday at a news conference to announce the bowl.
Rumble In The Bronx
It doesn't have a name yet. But college football's newest bowl game will have winter weather and the draw of spending the holidays in New York, writes Brian Bennett. Blog
The leagues and the New York Yankees have a four-year agreement in place, running through the 2013 season. The payout to each team will be about $2 million. For the Yankees, they get another event they hope will fill their 57,545-seat stadium.
"The game underscores our promise to use Yankees Stadium year-round," said Yankees president Randy Levine, who presided over a gathering at the stadium that included Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner and the commissioners from each conference.
The Big East will send either its third or fourth selection to the Yankee Stadium bowl game. The Big 12 will send its seventh selection. If the Big 12 does not have enough bowl eligible teams, Notre Dame has agreed to take its place, providing it is available.
The game will be played between Christmas and New Year's Day.
The Big East was a logical fit for the game. Although the league has become more far-flung in recent years with the additions of South Florida, Cincinnati and Louisville, its roots run through the Big Apple.
"The Big East has long time recognized New York city as its home," Big East commissioner John Marinatto said.
The Big East has been playing its basketball tournament at Madison Square Garden since 1983.
Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe said the Bronx bowl was a late addition to the Big 12's schedule, but it was too good to pass up.
"This is an opportunity to put our brand, our football, in the biggest market in the world," he said.
The Independence Bowl in Shreveport, La., was bumped from the conference's bowl lineup to make room.
The Yankee Stadium game has no title sponsor yet, though Levine said several of the companies that already have relationships with the Yankees have shown interest. Considering signs for Master Card, State Farm, Gatorade, Pepsi and Sony adorn the outfield walls at Yankee Stadium, sponsorship should not be a problem.
The game does not have a television home yet, but if nobody is interested -- which is unlikely -- the Yankees' YES network could step in.
The game needs to be certified by the NCAA in April, but that's a formality.
It will be the first bowl played in the Northeast since the 1981 Garden State Bowl was played at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.
Most bowls are played in cities with mild or warm weather or in domes. The Humanitarian Bowl in Boise, Idaho, is the most obvious exception, though it can get chilly in places such as Nashville, Tenn., and Dallas around the holiday season.
Still, the teams invited to the Yankee Stadium bowl -- and their fans -- better bring their scarves and coats.
"I've played games in snow and ice, and it's fun," Beebe said. "The opportunity for our youngsters to come here, whether there is snow or ice or whatever, to come to the biggest market in the world ... is too great to pass up."
"We'll play in whatever conditions. We'll put ice skates on instead of cleats."
The original Yankee Stadium was home of the NFL's Giants from 1956 to 1973 and the site of college football games, many involving some of the greatest Army and Notre Dame teams, from the early- to mid-1900s.
The Gotham Bowl was played there in 1962. Nebraska, now a member of the Big 12, beat Miami 36-34.
With the return of college football, Bloomberg said he's hoping for a couple of tickets to the game, no matter how cold it gets.
"What's strange is football in warm weather," he said. "This is a sport where you've got to go out there and bundle up. That's part of the fun of it."
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press