Lafayette will host the 150th meeting in college football’s most-played rivalry at Yankee Stadium Nov. 22, 2014.
Lafayette President Daniel H. Weiss and Lehigh University President Alice Gast made the announcement Saturday morning at the annual President’s Brunch before the 148th Lafayette-Lehigh game at Fisher Stadium.
“Lafayette College is honored to host the 150th meeting of Lafayette and Lehigh at Yankee Stadium. This important milestone for the most-played football rivalry in the country will be celebrated at our nation’s most iconic sports facility,” Weiss said. “Our fans deserve nothing less, and our student-athletes will remember this day for the rest of their lives.”
The game at Yankee Stadium will be the first Lafayette-Lehigh meeting at a neutral site since Nov. 25, 1891, when the teams played at West Side Park in Wilkes Barre, Pa. Begun in 1884, Lafayette-Lehigh is not only the nation’s most-played rivalry. It has been played every year since 1897 without interruption, reaching 116 consecutive years in 2012, the longest streak of consecutive years for any rivalry in college football.
The Leopards played New York University at the original Yankee Stadium from 1933 to 1937 and faced Washington and Jefferson College there in 1924. The Leopards have also played at the Polo Grounds and Franklin Field in addition to participating in the first indoor night college football game in 1930 at the Atlantic City Auditorium in front of 17,000 fans.
“We hope this will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our student-athletes, alumni, family, and friends to participate in game No. 150 at a venue as storied as Yankee Stadium,” said Lafayette Director of Athletics Bruce McCutcheon. “Lehigh Athletic Director Joe Sterrett and I have worked together with our administration and representatives of Yankee Stadium for several years to help make this happen.”
Yankee Stadium, both the current and the original venues, has played host to numerous college football games through the years. The original structure welcomed a number of contests from its opening in 1923, including New York University and Fordham University home games. From 1925-46, and again in 1969, the annual Notre Dame-Army football game took place at Yankee Stadium, including the memorable “win one for the Gipper” matchup in 1928, and the 1946 contest which ended in a scoreless tie and featured four Heisman Trophy winners.
The latest version of Yankee Stadium annually hosts the New Era Pinstripe Bowl, which brings together teams from the Big East and Big 12. The 2012 bowl, on Dec. 29, will be the sixth college football game to take place at the current venue, which has also hosted soccer matches and concerts since it opened in 2009.
Details on ticket availability for the Lafayette-Lehigh game will be announced at a later date. The approximate capacity of Yankee Stadium for the game will be 36,000 with access permitted two hours before the game. Kickoff will be set for mid-afternoon. Travel packages that include transportation to and from the Lehigh Valley, hotels, and in-stadium tailgating will be announced at a later date along with additional college events planned as part of the weekend.