Ugh, trying to squeeze together tomorrow morning's update now before I grab a few hours of shuteye. Might as well post this now for the night owls.
I thought the Rutgers football program wasn't planning to move future home dates at the expanded Rutgers Stadium. In that case, why did the Bergen Record just report that Rutgers is planning to move its 2010 date with Army to the new Giants Stadium?
I don't have a problem with this at all if the financial numbers work. My concern is about whether they do. Any problems with the Notre Dame deal may have been just as tied to concerns about tickets and gates and whatnot. Playing ND was obviously much larger in scope, and didn't put perception of RU football in the best light.
Playing in East Rutherford makes sense as an occasional treat. There's no way that it can replicate the home field advantage from Piscataway though; if only from all the on-campus students pouring in to games. The upside of Giants Stadium, besides the headlines, is that it is thirty minutes closer to New York City, and the 30,000 additional seats (presumably filled by Army fans, or just random New Yorkers and North Jerseyans that want to see a college football game on a whim) might bring in additional revenue.
However, playing games in East Rutherford or the Bronx aren't exactly everything they're cracked up to be. Notre Dame and Syracuse believe that they need more of a presence in the New York City area. Rutgers, being the only BCS conference team in the region, does not. That's why those programs needed this game, and RU did not. I hope that the athletic department is doing this for their own sake, and not keeping up with the joneses, if you will. There's some symbolic value in the fact that Notre Dame and Navy are playing in the Stadium on October 23rd. I suppose it would be nice if the only two teams from the New York City area can beat them to the punch.
This leak is especially strange considering that yesterday, Giants president John Mara was reserved, but cordial about Rutgers eventually playing at the new Giants Stadium.
"There's always a chance," Mara added. "Certain athletic directors prefer to have big games on their own college campuses, and I certainly understand that. But when you're talking about a crowd that could be in excess of 80,000 for certain opponents, we think it could be a great alternative, if that's the direction they want to go in."
Anyway, I'm sure much more will come out over the coming days. There's a bit of irony to this report, since I was just thinking that things aren't quite the same at camp without Aditi. The Record doesn't even cover Rutgers any more, and they get the scoop (maybe it came from the Giants' end). Unbelievable. Guess the big guns were hard at work yesterday, and had to sleep at some point.