The Big Ten has signed an eight year agreement with the New York Yankees for a conference member to play in the Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium. The agreement begins after the 2014 football season and runs through the 2021 season.
Reaction to this agreement is mixed. Proponents of the agreement like the apparent matchup with ACC schools and increasing the Big Ten's presence in the New York market. The agreement calls for the Big Ten to have permanent advertising along the first baseline, as well as rotating ads behind home plate, during Yankee games. It also calls for other conference events at Yankee Stadium, though that's not clear what that means. The Big Ten baseball tournament? The Big Ten football championship game?
The downside? Well, it's an outdoor bowl game in New York City... in late December ... in a baseball stadium, complete with bad sightlines for football in a really bad part of town. This isn't an NHL outdoor game, where the tradeoff of playing outside is getting back to the game's roots and playing in front of double or triple the fans that are possible in an indoor arena. This is playing in front of a crowd that's only a third of the capacity of the Big House or Horseshoe.
So which is it? The CN team discussed it after the announcement, and there were two immediate schools of thought:
Brian: Is there something I am missing here?? What excitement is there for this? Maybe its more a East Division thing, I dunno. I just think its a big step down from Tempe (the Buffalo Wild Wings/Insight Bowl) personally.
James: New destination, games against ACC, New York City. Pretty sweet in my mind.
David: I can't see Big Ten powerhouses super excited about that trip, would also mean a disappointing season. Ultimately, if NU wins, they won't have to face that scenario.
Mike: Outdoors...in December... in a baseball stadium with horrible sightlines... And a city where a dinky hotel room starts around $300. David Ubben, ESPN's Big XII blogger, retweeted a few comments from Big XII fans who've experienced the Pinstripe Bowl. This agreement might work for Rutgers, but that's about it. It makes for good TV, but it's massive suckage for fans who put in the effort to follow their team.
Underrated entertainment: Big 12 fans and administrators' unbridled hatred for the Pinstripe Bowl.— David Ubben (@davidubben) June 3, 2013
@davidubben And after last year's open-air press box with snow and rain being blown in w/20mph winds, press joyous as well. Awful.— Chris Anderson (@CMAnderson247) June 3, 2013
Salt Creek: I'm willing to bet Delany sends the Big Ten #3 to NYC in the next three seasons. No way they want this bowl game to be the same teams visiting annually. But I have to think they stick with East Division schools like Michigan or Ohio State.They won't send a West Division representative unless they have to. Other than Wisconsin and maybe Minnesota, I don't foresee a strong alumni presence from the other schools.
James: eh, Eastern Division teams are closer than Big XII teams ever were. It's a fun weird novelty type bowl game, it's in a great city that's fun for student athletes, and you can stay in the area much cheaper than that if you have a mind to. Nebraska would probably have to play in that game ONCE (so we pray), I bet some fans would enjoy the trip. *shrug*
Mike: No doubt some fans would enjoy the trip. Broadway shows, etc. And yes, there are alternatives to $300/night hotel rooms:
Jon: I've never been to New York City and have always wanted to go. With regards to the cold… seriously, who gives a shit. Most of the B1G lives in frigid weather, most of them have gear for it, and a lot of them wouldn't care a whole lot about OMG IT'S BELOW 30 AND WE'RE GOING TO DIE. I think it's a nice option.
We've seen them add Maryland and Rutgers, and then add John Hopkins for a single sport so they could get their own lacrosse conference going, and probably raise the popularity of BTN by a great deal in the area in which they're targeting to increase subscriptions.