Hats Off to the New Era Pinstripe Bowl
It didn't take long for a bowl game in the new Yankee Stadium to become a reality. It took even less time for the bowl to attract a title sponsor. The Dec. 30 game will be known as the New Era Pinstripe Bowl.
New Era's sponsorship deal will last for four years. The bowl's broadcast deal with ESPN will last for six years. The game is currently slated to match the third team from the Big East with the sixth team from the Big 12. With both those conferences currently stuck in Big Ten Expansion Purgatory the term "currently" applies. Those leagues may not be around much longer, at least in their current form.
It's bad form to bend the bill of your New Era cap, but if you plan on going to this game, you can figure on bending and unbending plenty of dollar bills. Last season Yankee Stadium concession prices verged on the confiscatory. Try $5 for a soda and $9 for a beer. The only good news is that the APR on the nacho financing is down to 7.9%.
It makes sense that the nation's largest city would have a bowl game of its own. There hasn't been a bowl game close to the Big Apple since the Garden State Bowl (played at the Meadowlands) closed up shop in 1981. New Era is a perfect sponsor for this bowl, though their hipster clientele might be happier if the game was played in Brooklyn.
New York is a pro sports town, though. The Big Ten may covet all those tri-state eyeballs, but there's little evidence that New Yorkers care much about college football. Then again, a program with a 1.0 rating in the New York media market will have more people watching than a program with a 10.0 rating in Memphis, the nation's 50th largest market. So it's probably a wash.
In the end, how this bowl fares and what New Era gets for its sponsorship money will depend on the quality of matchups it generates. Their picks are fairly low; you can figure on something like an 8-4 Big East team playing a 7-5 Big 12 team. That hardly sounds compelling, but we've already established that we'll watch anything called a bowl game.