Meadowlands to host select Syracuse games

Published 8:23 am Thursday, August 20, 2009

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – As Syracuse University tries to rebuild its football tradition, an announcement made Tuesday afternoon will hopefully go a long way toward doing just that.

Mark Lamping, CEO of New Meadowlands Stadium Corporation and Dr. Daryl Gross, Syracuse University Director of Athletics, announced that the New Meadowlands Stadium will host select Syracuse University football games in 2012, 2014 and 2016.

New Meadowlands Stadium will host Syracuse University vs. University of Southern California on Sept. 8, 2012; Notre Dame on Sept. 27, 2014; and Notre Dame on Sept. 3, 2016.

“We designed New Meadowlands Stadium to accommodate a variety of games, sporting events and concerts,” said Mark Lamping, CEO of New Meadowlands Stadium Company. “We are thrilled to host Syracuse University, a school with rich and time-honored athletic tradition, and we likewise welcome the Orange to be a part of New Meadowlands history.”
“This is a tremendous opportunity for Syracuse University to be associated with the New Meadowlands,” said Syracuse University Director of Athletics Dr. Daryl Gross. “We embrace the opportunity to play in the New York metropolitan area, which boasts our most popular alumni base, to enhance our football program and University objectives. As the only BCS team in the state of New York, we feel it is our responsibility to represent this region successfully.

“The national exposure and playing these traditional college football programs are exciting for us as we look forward to re-establishing our own football tradition. The timing of this is perfect as we begin a new era in our history with head coach Doug Marrone, who grew up in this area and served as Jets offensive line coach from 2002 to 2005. The stadium is absolutely fabulous and we thank everyone at the New Meadowlands who helped make this opportunity come to fruition. We look forward to this great partnership.”

The series against Notre Dame is tied, 3-3. The Orange beat ND, 24-23, in 2008 in South Bend. Syracuse and USC have played twice, the most recent being the 1990 Kickoff Classic in the Meadowlands.

“It’s great for us to have the opportunity to play in a tremendous venue that gives us terrific exposure as a University and helps the program in a lot of ways, including recruiting,” said Syracuse head coach Doug Marrone. “We have a strong alumni presence in the metropolitan area and, hopefully, our fans here in Syracuse will join us for the trip. Our fans do a great job supporting the basketball team when we play for the BIG EAST Championship in Madison Square Garden. We hope to gain that same type of support in this game.”

Syracuse is the 14th-winningest program in college football. It is one of only two schools with national championships in football, men’s basketball and men’s lacrosse.

Syracuse has 22 bowl game appearances and has earned invitations to all four Bowl Championship Series Bowl games.

With 17 former players and coaches in the College Football Hall of Fame, Syracuse is one of just seven schools with that many representatives.

Syracuse has six representatives in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, one of eight schools with at least six alums enshrined.

Syracuse is one of just 35 schools to have a Heisman Trophy winner. Syracuse’s Ernie Davis was the first African-American to win the Heisman Trophy in 1961.

Upon completion in 2010, New Meadowlands Stadium will seat 82,500 fans, including 9,500 club seats and 222 luxury suites. It will be the third-largest stadium in the National Football League.

“The scheduling of these highly anticipated Syracuse games versus USC and Notre Dame means the best of college football will be in the best venue for football and stadium events,” said Woody Johnson, Chairman and CEO of the New York Jets. “Local fans and alumni, as well as our premium suite and club seat holders, will have many more opportunities like this to experience in the New Meadowlands Stadium.”

“The history of college football at Meadowlands runs deep, dating back to the Garden State Bowl in the 1970s and Kickoff Classics in the 1980s,” said John Mara, co-owner of the New York Giants. “I am thrilled to continue this long-standing tradition, and to watch it grow at our new home.”

Inside the stadium, four 40-by-130-foot HD video replay boards will hang from each corner of the upper deck. Outside the stadium, fans will be treated to a 350,000-square-foot outdoor plaza filled with fan-centric activities and pregame entertainment zones. A signature amenity of the stadium will be the brand new rail line that will drop off passengers less than 100 feet from the stadium – the total trip from New York’s Penn Station will take less than 20 minutes.

The new stadium will have numerous restaurants, wider concourses and more HD square footage than any other stadium in North America.