The Yankees announced this morning they’ve reached a deal with the Big 12 and Big East to bring a bowl game to Yankee Stadium next winter.
The March of Dimes tried this 47 years ago with the Gotham Bowl, and it didn’t go so well. Only 6,000 people came to see Nebraska defeat Miami, and the game lost money for the charity (as it had the year before in the Polo Grounds).
The new incarnation will pit the 3rd or 4th best team in the Big East against the 7th best team in the Big 12. So, right now you’d be looking at something like Nebraska vs. Pittsburgh, or Iowa State vs. Connecticut. (Lots of ties in the standings right now, because it’s early in the season.) Notre Dame also says they might be willing to show up if they don’t qualify for something better.
It seems unlikely that New Yorkers will care much, but college football fans are notoriously rabid and peripatetic, so maybe Mayor Bloomberg isn’t exaggerating when he says it will bring tens of thousands of tourists. Unfortunately, the game probably won’t be called the Gotham Bowl since all of these games end up with names like the Meineke Car Care Bowl or the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl.
Gothamist points out that Yankee Stadium is scheduled to host an outdoor hockey game in January 2011, which seems much more interesting and enjoyable than a low-grade, not-even-New Year’s Day, bowl game.