Notre Dame to Play at Yankee Stadium?

A dormant tradition may be revived at the new Stadium

For years, football was a traditional activity at Yankee Stadium. The Giants, of course, called the Stadium home before they moved to New Jersey, and there were many college games at the House That Ruth Built, including the short-lived Gotham Bowl postseason game. Notre Dame took part in many of those games, but the tradition ended in 1987 because the Yankees didn't want to damage the playing field.

The tradition may be reborn. The Fighting Irish are talking about scheduling their 2013 game against Army at the new Yankee Stadium, as it would be the 100th anniversary of the first time those two teams battled on the gridiron.

"We’ve been in contact with Yankee Stadium and asked and inquired," Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick told the New York Times. "We will be discussing games with them, but we haven’t entered into any substantive discussions."

Swarbrick said that he got the impression that the Yankees might not want to wait until 2013 to play a game, because they'd like to generate as much revenue as possible. Since Notre Dame, which last played at the Stadium in 1969, wants to be in the first game at the Stadium, it might mean the timetable gets moved forward. The Yankees and Army had no comment.

Getting the first game at the new Yankee Stadium would be a coup for the flagging Notre Dame football program, and playing Army would make things a win-win. It would actually be a win-win-win, because if they lost the game they'd just erase it from their historical record.

Kidding aside, a return of big-time college football to New York City would be great. Notre Dame-Army doesn't actually qualify, but it has enough significance that it makes sense as a lid-lifter. Hopefully, they'd then move onto featuring games between national powers in short order because it is the one area of sports that's completely missing from the biggest city in the country.

Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City and is a contributor to and in addition to his duties for

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