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Meadowlands to continue Penn State – Syracuse rivalry

Submitted by on June 30, 2010 – 2:47 pm3 Comments

All the cool kids are doing it.

Alabama, Notre Dame, Clemson, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Georgia, Florida and Texas A&M are just a few among the long list of recent neural site game participants. Nittany Lion fans can look forward to joining that list.

Penn State announced today that the New Meadowlands Stadium will be host to the Penn State Nittany Lions and Syracuse Orange starting in August 31, 2013 for the first of a rare 3 game series in 2013.

Penn State has faced Syracuse 70 times in the program’s history, including 46 straight from 1944 to 1990, the 2nd most of any opponents faced by Penn State. The Nittany Lions own a 42-23-5 record in the storied rivalry. The two last met for a 2 game series in 2008 and 2009 both ending in blowout victories (55-13, 28-7) for Penn State.

This neutral site series marks a pattern that began with the announcement last season that this season’s Penn State / Indiana matchup will be relocated to FedEx Field. With more than 40,000 registered alums in the immediate DC/Maryland/Virginia region, and the close proximity to State College itself, it is essentially a home game forfeited by Indiana primarily for financial gain. The Hoosiers stand to make $3 million by playing at FedEx Field, the largest venue in the NFL, a significant increase when they are averaging less than $1 million for home games at Memorial Stadium.

The CEO of New Meadowlands Stadium Company Mark Lamping has to virtually guarantee a significant increase in revenue for Penn State to give up a non-conference home games in the 2013 season, especially when they already have  a game against BCS opponent Virginia scheduled.

And much like Penn State’s ‘neutral’ site game against Indiana at FedEx Field, don’t be fooled into considering this an actual neutral site game. Although the Meadowlands is located in New York, home of the Syracuse Orange, metropolitan New York City area is home to over 40,000 Penn State alums alone. The bigger question will be how the new Meadowlands Stadium with a listed capacity of 82,500, the third largest in the NFL, will accommodate all the fans that commonly packs the much larger Beaver Stadium in addition to the home town Orange fans. The 4 hour, 240 mile drive between State College and Meadowlands Stadium should only be a mere hindrance for the 107,282 fans that pack Beaver Stadium every Saturday.

Despite the capacity issues, the new venue is nice. Real nice.

The New Meadowlands Stadium sets the standard for venue excellence, with state-of-the-art technology, comfort and amenities. With a full seating capacity of 82,500 the New Meadowlands Stadium is the third-largest stadium in the National Football League. Highlights include four massive 30′ X 118′ HD video display boards in each of the stadium corners; a 48″ X 1810′ ribbon board that circles the interior bowl; 2100 + HD Monitors throughout the stadium; and 20 HD video pylons ranging in size from 20′ X 40′ to 20′ X 60′.

Outside the stadium, a 350,000-square-foot outdoor plaza will boast fan-centric activities and pregame entertainment zones. The new stadium will have numerous restaurants, wider concourses and more HD square footage than any other stadium in North America. A signature amenity of the stadium is the brand new rail line that drops off passengers directly in front of the stadium.

The Nittany Lions are no strangers to playing neutral site games at the Meadowlands having compiled a 8-3 record against USC, Nebraska, Texas, Rutgers, Georgia Tech, Temple and Syracuse in previous matchups. In fact, the first game Penn State participated in at the Meadowlands was against the Syracuse Orange in 1979.

This announcement marks another in a series of high profile matchups Penn State has scheduled for the upcoming season including the 2 game series against Alabama starting this season, Virginia in 2012-13, and Rutgers in 2014-15.

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  • BryanCover

    The press release only mentions Syracuse in 2013, 2020, and 2021. How are we playing 3 strait seasons with 2 AQ-conference teams? Are there match-ups I missed?

  • Charlie

    We are scheduled to play Virginia & Syracuse in 2013, Rutgers & Syracuse in 2014, and Rutgers & Syracuse in 2015. The Syracuse neutral site game supplements games we already scheduled with AQ opponents Virginia and Rutgers between 2013 and 2015.

  • Charlie

    You are correct, it has been corrected. The 3 game series will actually only begin in 2013, but finish in a home and home in 2020 and 2021. Thanks for pointing that out