Could New York City be the host of a college football bowl game? If the new Westside Stadium is built, a college football game could be a possibility. That's a big if, but it would certainly be great to have some college football in the city. The stadium, if approved, would be finished in 2009 and would need NCAA certification to host a postseason bowl game. The plan was announced by the Big East Conference, the New York City Sports Commission, the Jets and the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame. The organizing group claims that the game could generate up to $8 million, bring 75,000 new visitors to the City, and would be a showcase for Big East Football.
Several thoughts came to Gothamist when we first heard this plan. When are they going to have the game? It would have to be before New Year's so it doesn't interfere with the "first-tier" bowls or New Year's Eve events in New York. If it is earlier, that would the possible teams that come could be no-names or teams that aren't that good and does New York really want to host a second or third-tier game? The question of who wants to play in New York when it's cold isn't a problem as long as it's not a B.C.S. Bowl. Hell, if you can have the Humanitarian Bowl on blue artificial turf in Boise, you can have a game in the New York winter. Lastly, what the hell are they thinking? Showcase for Big East football? That's the biggest joke we've ever heard.
Assuming the Big East stays in the B.C.S.'s good graces, you're looking at a football conference of Syracuse, Pittsburgh, West Virginia, Louisville, Rutgers, Cincinnati, Connecticut, and South Florida. There are maybe three teams that are any good in that bunch and that's a huge stretch. Sure 2010 is 6 years away, but at this point it's not looking good. Are people really going to travel to see a Conference USA team to play the 3rd place Big East team? Obviously the Big East bowl lineup will change to accommodate the Big Apple Bowl, but is the Big East anticipating their removal from the B.C.S.?
Of course, a bowl game in New York also means some sort of sponsorship. Kind of like naming the Westside Stadium. The last time New York had a college bowl game was in the 1963 Gotham Bowl at Yankee Stadium.