July 20, 2009
Notre Dame vs. Army - Nov. 20, 2010 - Press Conference
BRONX, N.Y. - Notre Dame and Army - two staples of the national sports scene when they met 21 times between 1925 and 1946 at the original Yankee Stadium, the home of the New York Yankees - will renew that historic collegiate rivalry for the 50th time on Nov. 20, 2010, when the Fighting Irish and Cadets meet in the first football game to be played at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, N.Y.
The game will be the second of a series of "off-site" home football games for Notre Dame in which the Irish are taking games that could be played at Notre Dame Stadium and moving them to venues around the country. The first of those will take place Oct. 31, 2009, when Notre Dame and Washington State meet at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. Notre Dame and Arizona State are slated to meet in 2013 at the Dallas Cowboys' new stadium in Arlington, Texas.
"Any student of Notre Dame football history knows the meaning of the Notre Dame-Army rivalry and, in particular, the history of that rivalry at Yankee Stadium," said Notre Dame athletics director Jack Swarbrick.
"It's fitting that a Notre Dame-Army game will be the first football event in this fabulous facility - and it's also fitting that the 50th meeting in this great rivalry will take place in a venue with such great tradition for both programs."
"As a longtime Yankee fan, I'm thrilled to have the opportunity for Notre Dame to be a part of this event. I think this will be the kind of game that our players will remember long after it's over," said Notre Dame football coach Charlie Weis.
"We are very excited about the prospect of airing the 50th all-time game of one of the great rivalries in college football history," NBC Sports president Ken Schanzer said. "The fact that next year's game will be played in one of the greatest venues only adds to what should be an unforgettable evening."
Notre Dame expects to make tickets available to its contributing alumni and fans through its alumni lottery as it does with all other football games. Army will receive an allotment of tickets as the visiting team. Approximately 47,000 seats are expected to be available for football at Yankee Stadium.
While Notre Dame and Army have met on 49 previous occasions, the heyday of the rivalry came in the mid-1940s. Over four straight seasons from 1943 through 1946, both Notre Dame and Army came into their Yankee Stadium matchup ranked fifth or higher in that week's Associated Press poll. The Irish came into the '43 game ranked number one, then Army brought the top ranking into the contest in '44, '45 and '46. Top-ranked Notre Dame defeated #3 Army 26-0 in '43. Top-rated Army vanquished #5 Notre Dame 59-0 in '44 and #2 Notre Dame 48-0 in '45. Then, in '46, came the famous 0-0 tie between #1 Army and #2 Notre Dame - made legendary by John Lujack's well-chronicled saving tackle of Cadet star running back Doc Blanchard late in the game.
In the 1940s alone, Notre Dame claimed consensus national titles in '43, '46, '47 and '49 - while Army won national titles in '44 and '45. In that same decade of the `40s, Notre Dame produced three Heisman Trophy winners in Angelo Bertelli ('43), Lujack ('47) and Leon Hart ('49), while Army produced two in Blanchard ('45) and Glenn Davis ('46). The Notre Dame-Army matchups at New York's Yankee Stadium had much to do with creating the term "subway alumni" for Notre Dame alumni and fans that utilized that mode of transportation to attend the games.
Notre Dame leads the all-time series with Army 37-8-4 - including a 14-5-3 record at the original Yankee Stadium. Previous Yankee Stadium games between the Irish and Cadets came in 1925-29, 1931-46, and 1969 (the 100th anniversary of college football). The teams first met in a historic 35-13 Irish victory in 1913 at West Point. Notre Dame holds an 8-1 edge in meetings at Notre Dame Stadium, the most recent in 2006. The rivalry also has featured one game each at Ebbetts Field in Brooklyn (1923), the Polo Grounds (a 13-7 Irish victory in '24 at which Grantland Rice coined the Four Horsemen nickname), Soldier Field in Chicago ('30), in Philadelphia ('57), Shea Stadium in New York ('65) -- and three at Giants Stadium in the New Jersey Meadowlands ('77, '83 and '95).
Notre Dame also played at the original Yankee Stadium in 1949 against North Carolina (a 42-6 Irish victory) and in 1963 versus Syracuse (a 14-7 Orange win). Those contests, combined with the matchups against Army, give the Irish an overall 15-6-3 mark in previous Yankee Stadium games.
Other New York-area Notre Dame football appearances came at the Polo Grounds in 1921 (versus Rutgers) -- and at Giants Stadium in 1980, '82, '84, '90, '92 and 2004 (all against Navy), in '89 against Virginia and in 2002 against Maryland (both in the Kickoff Classic). The Irish also played at Rutgers in 2000.