While fairly new to the long-standing tradition that is postseason college football bowl games, the New Era Pinstripe Bowl will reportedly be undergoing some changes, beginning tomorrow.
Sources close to the bowl game have confirmed to a multitude of outlets, including ESPN, CBS, and SI.com, that a press conference will be held tomorrow afternoon announcing that the Big Ten will be taking the spot of the Big 12 as a member in the annual game, beginning in 2014. Among those expected in attendance are B1G Commissioner Jim Delany and New York Yankees‘ owner Hal Steinbrenner. There had been rumblings since last week’s conference meetings in Chicago that adding the Pinstripe Bowl to their postseason slate was mixed in with some other of the top agendas.
Because the game is expected to drop the football-dwindling American Athletic Conference after this season also, there’s rampant speculation that the ACC is the clear front-runner to take the place as the conference representative that will be opposing the Big Ten in the game, beginning in 2014.
Adding these two should be a good indication about the success of the game going forward. While there’s a majority of people who can agree that there are too many bowl contests, the thinking behind this game was that the allure of football at Yankee Stadium was going to draw people in.
Well, that hasn’t exactly been the case.
Attendance has been a major concern for the game in its first three years of existence. The numbers have hovered right around the 38,000 mark, roughly the same as a regular-season Yankees baseball contest. For a football game that is played only once a year, between teams from separate BCS-conferences, this number should be drastically higher, if not close to a sell-out every time.
Possessing the Big 12 and the AAC may have just been an overall bad mixture for the game, for a couple reasons.
From the standpoint of the Big 12, given the geographic location where most of the schools are located, I’m sure that a trip to the Bronx, New York in the late-December climate could not have been all that appealing to fans of the schools.
As for the AAC, well–they haven’t exactly been taken all that seriously lately as it pertains to the sport of football. That leads to not only fans of the school not caring all that much, but it’s also hard to bring a casual fan to the game as well.
With New York being right near the center of B1G country and ACC schools being a lot closer to the city than schools from Texas or Iowa, for example, the game should hopefully see a boost in live-attendance.