By Howard Goldin
BRONX, NEW YORK, JUNE 4-Two weeks ago, the New York Yankees announced a partnership with Manchester City FC to form the NY FC, the only NYC entry in the MLS (Major League Soccer), beginning in 2015. The Yankees organization, under the ownership of the Steinbrenners, never rests on its past achievements. Thus, another press conference was held at Yankee Stadium on Monday afternoon to detail the partnership agreement with the Big 10 Conference.
Starting in late December of 2014, the Big 10 will replace the Big 12 as one of the two participants in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl, played annually several days after Christmas at Yankee Stadium. The partnership will last for eight years, through 2021.
General managing partner of the Yankees Hal Steinbrenner spoke of his father’s love for college football and his connection to the Big 10, “The Big Ten Conference playing college football at Yankee Stadium is something I know my father would be proud to see come to fruition. He had a great passion for college football and spoke glowingly of his involvement with several of the conference’s programs.”
Big 10 Commissioner James E. Delaney expressed his desire to make the college football powerhouse conference truly become a national entity and play in New York City, “Once we saw the success of the New Era Pinstripe Bowl, it became obvious that being in the media capital of the world at one of sports’ most renowned venues was a natural pairing.”
Delaney did not state which team in the conference standing would participate in each year’s bowl game but did promise, “We’re going to try to get a minimum of six and a maximum of eight teams. We expect to provide a number of iconic Big 10 brands here.”
At the conference, a question was raised, because of the connection between the Steinbrenner family and UNC (University of North Carolina) as to whether the ACC (Atlantic Coast Conference) would replace the Big East once its contract with the Pinstripe Bowl ends. Yankees president Randy Levine responded, “That’s for another day.” It appears fairly clear that in the future the Pinstripe Bowl will feature the big 10 against the ACC.
During its three years of existence, the New Era Pinstripe Bowl has grown in attendance and in TV ratings. The interest in the bowl game in the Bronx can only increase with the yearly presence of a Big 10 team.