Big Ten Pushes Into N.Y. Market With Eight-Year Deal To Play In Pinstripe Bowl
The New Era Pinstripe Bowl and the Big Ten conference yesterday "agreed to an eight-year partnership" beginning in '14, according to Brett McMurphy of ESPN.com. Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany said, "When we began planning we had an objective to end up in New York at the New Era Pinstripe Bowl. We're in the east now with Maryland and Rutgers. Not only is New York the financial capital, sports capital of the country, but it is the place you need to be if you truly want to present a national slate of bowl games." A source said that the partnership "will provide the Big Ten signage inside Yankee Stadium for all Yankees home regular season games starting" in '14. Sources said that a team from the Big Ten "annually will play an ACC team" in the bowl. The ACC partnership "was not part of Monday afternoon's news conference." A source said that the deal between the Big Ten and Yankee Stadium also will include "additional future conference events held at the ballpark" (ESPN.com, 6/3). BTN.com's Tom Dienhart wrote the deal "pushes the Big Ten deeper into the massive New York metropolitan area, the world’s biggest media market." That is "a big deal in the Big Ten’s quest to grow its brand, revenue and reach across an ever-competitive conference landscape." This "toehold in the mega New York area sets the Big Ten apart from every other major conference." That "eventually could help the league from a competitive standpoint -- particularly in recruiting." The Big Ten reportedly is "expected to add" the Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl in San Diego and the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl in S.F. in '14. If so, the Big Ten "will have bowls in every major California market" (BTN.com, 6/3).
GOOD RIDDANCE: ESPN.com's David Ubben wrote observers would be "hard pressed to find many in Big 12 country shedding a tear" about the conference no longer playing in the Pinstripe Bowl. The difficulty for teams and media to reach practice sites during bowl week "drew complaints, and the open-air press box in a frigid New York December isn't exactly the product of well thought-out genius." The process of trekking to N.Y. the week of New Year's Eve "isn't exactly cheap for teams or fans, either." Having a bowl game in Yankee Stadium and "giving fans a reason to spend New Year's Eve in New York City sounded cool in theory." The "logistical issues in making it happen, though, produced quite a few headaches" (ESPN.com, 6/3).