SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC NEWS) – On October 20, 1923, Syracuse and Pittsburgh played the first-ever college football game at Yankee Stadium. That clash was a defensive battle that culminated in a 3-0 Orange victory. On Saturday, SU and Pitt met at Yankee Stadium again to commemorate the 100th anniversary of that game.
“It’s a unique experience,” Otto’s Army (SU Student Section) President Greg Slodysko remarked. “Normally you don’t get to play in a neutral site during the regular season, so it’s kind of a special opportunity.”
As special an opportunity as it may have been, it came at a cost. Syracuse typically plays seven games inside the JMA Wireless Dome every season, but it sacrificed the seventh in order to hold this game. The majority of the crowd was wearing navy blue or orange, but just over 17,000 fans filled into Yankee Stadium, the fewest for any SU game- home or away- this season.
Syracuse’s final home game is Saturday, November 25 against Wake Forest. That falls two days after Thanksgiving, meaning many students will not be back from break, creating a lost opportunity for some.
“It’s kind of a bummer,” SU senior Riley Wall lamented. “Our last game ever as a student was last weekend, so it was very unfortunate not to be able to go see another game in the Dome.”
In addition to Syracuse and NYC being separated by approximately 4-5 hours, the football team’s struggles drew students away from traveling down. The Orange started the season 4-0 but were on a five-game losing skid entering Saturday’s contest.
“It’s too far,” SU senior Ryan Lindblom noted. “The team is just not good enough that it does not warrant me traveling there to go.”
Syracuse emerged victorious on Saturday, beating Pitt 28-13. But the game being moved from the Dome to Yankee Stadium still has mixed feelings. A great opportunity for some, a lost opportunity for others.