Syracuse, N.Y. — Syracuse football will play Notre Dame on Saturday afternoon in the Bronx.
Before you bang on the keyboard sending emails laced with outrage excoriating Syracuse Athletic Director John Wildhack or gripe in the comment section here, there is one minor detail to note.
Syracuse did not move this game from the Carrier Dome to Yankee Stadium.
Let’s repeat that: Syracuse did not move this game from the Carrier Dome to Yankee Stadium.
Saturday’s game was originally scheduled to be played at Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind. Notre Dame announced it moved the game to Yankee Stadium when it released scheduling details on Dec. 7 last year.
It moved the game as part of its Shamrock Series, games which Notre Dame moves out of its home venue and into a neutral-site stadium, typically in a big city. The Fighting Irish have been doing this neutral-site tradition every year since 2009, with the exception of 2017.
It does this not for financial reasons but from a marketing and branding point of view. Notre Dame has a national following, and moving the game allows it to reach fans in major markets around the country. The school builds in various fan events around the weekend of the game, including a pep rally, a 5K race, Mass, service projects and academic and spiritual events. The team typically wears an alternate uniform design to appeal to players and future recruits.
Previous sites for Shamrock Series games include the Alamodome in San Antonio, FedEx Field outside Washington D.C., Soldier Field in Chicago, AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Tex., Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis and Fenway Park in Boston.
Notre Dame is 8-0 in Shamrock Series games heading into the 2:30 p.m. game against the Orange on Saturday at Yankee Stadium.
“Notre Dame is Notre Dame,” Syracuse coach Dino Babers said. “As a coach, you understand what that means and all the history behind that university, similar to the history behind Syracuse.
“It’s a football game in a really cool place, and it’ll be cool until we get hit the very first time or until we make the very first call on defense or offense. Then you realize those guys are big, are strong, they’re well-coached and they have their own TV network.”
The Irish and Orange have met eight times, with Notre Dame holding a 5-3 lead in the series.
The previous two meetings in 2016 and 2014, both won by the Irish, were held in MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., games that were part of a contracted agreement between Syracuse University and MetLife announced in 2009.
Since then, with Syracuse having changed conferences from the Big East to the ACC, it is scheduled to play Notre Dame six more times through the next two decades because of an agreement between the ACC and the Irish.
Three of the six games are currently scheduled to take place at Notre Dame Stadium, and the other three are scheduled to be held in the Carrier Dome.
After Saturday’s game, the next meeting between the two schools is set for the 2022 season at Syracuse. It would be the Irish’s first visit to the Carrier Dome since 2003, when the Orange won 38-12 in front of 48,170 fans.