Irish in Yankee Stadium?

Idea 'interesting,' Notre Dame says

The Associated PressMay 24, 2009 

— Looking to celebrate its football history, Notre Dame is considering a game at the new Yankee Stadium.

"I'd be interested as we look forward to scheduling to think about how to sort of echo the history of our program," athletic director Jack Swarbrick said Thursday. "Obviously there have been some important Notre Dame games at Yankee Stadium, so I have a general interest in whether that's possible to do. None of this is any further than thinking out loud."

Swarbrick said he took a tour of the new stadium and inquired whether a football field would fit, but the game is only in the idea stage.

"There have been no substantive discussions because among the things that we might conclude here is that the economics don't work. So we haven't had any of those," he said.

A game at Yankee Stadium, though, would work into Notre Dame's plan to play one game a season at an offsite venue. The Irish will play their first such game against Washington State at San Antonio on Oct. 31.

The Yankees declined comment. They also are interested in possible games with Army, Rutgers and Syracuse.

Game against Army?

Swarbrick said he hasn't focused on a possible opponent the Irish would face at Yankee Stadium but said he's aware that because the Irish might just play one game there that "Army clearly has the greatest historical significance for us."

One of the biggest wins in Notre Dame history came against Army in 1913. Although Notre Dame went 17-1-3 from 1910-12, the Irish captured the nation's attention in 1913 when it revolutionized football by using the forward pass as a regular part of the offense in a 35-13 win over the Cadets.

The Irish played Army at Yankee Stadium annually from 1925-46 except for 1930, when the game was played in Chicago. Swarbrick said the Yankees have let it be known they want to bring more events to the new stadium.

Anniversary games

Notre Dame is coming up on a number of important 100-year anniversary games, Swarbrick said.

Swarbrick said he's also interested in looking at possible games against Nebraska and Texas. The Irish faced the Longhorns for the first time in 1913, winning 30-7, and played Nebraska for the first time in 1915, losing 20-19.

"They won't all fit neatly, but they give you a reason to look at it in the future and see whether you can capture any of those," he said.

The Irish already have an offsite home game scheduled for 2013. They will face Arizona State in the Dallas Cowboys' new stadium. They don't, however, have an offsite game scheduled for 2012.

Coach Charlie Weis, a diehard Yankees fan, said he is in favor of the idea.

"Growing up, I went to the old Yankee Stadium about 100 times for both baseball and football games, so the prospect of taking our team into the new Yankee Stadium for a game is very intriguing," he said. "While I know we are still in the formative stages of discussion, the idea is exciting to say the least."

Army athletic spokesman Bob Beretta said it was too early to talk of a game against Notre Dame.

"We have had discussions with several cities about playing neutral-site games. We're not to the point with specific opponents and we have had no direct dialogue with Notre Dame about playing at Yankee Stadium," he said. "We have a strong interest of playing multiple games at Yankee Stadium. Army playing at Yankee Stadium is a long tradition woven into the fabric of college football. Would it interest us in playing Notre Dame? Yes. To say we're working on a deal is premature, though."

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