Rutgers Planning Football/Wrestling Doubleheader at Yankee Stadium

By RossWB on September 13, 2016 at 7:09 pm
battle in the bronx

Remember the Grapple on the Gridiron, the outdoor wrestling dual meet between Iowa and Oklahoma State held at Kinnick Stadium the same day that Iowa and Minnesota squared off in football? Sure you do -- it was absolutely awesome.  Iowa hasn't announced any plans to stage a sequel to that event, but at least one Big Ten school is planning their own version: 

The sword is kind of weird imagery -- pretty sure use of swords is illegal in both wrestling and football, Rutgers bros! -- but hey.  Rutgers playing a football game at Yankee Stadium isn't that strange -- they've played three games at the current Yankee Stadium (and 12 games overall at Yankee Stadium, if you include the previous version of The House That Ruth Built in your count), including two appearances in the Pinstripe Bowl. 

I assume the organizers of this event are banking on the Yankees not making the World Series, though. I don't know what dates the World Series will be on in 2017, but in 2015 the World Series ended on November 1 -- and that was only a five-game series. If the Yankees made the World Series and it was a long series, the primary tenant at Yankee Stadium may have another engagement on November 4, which would be rather awkward for Rutgers.  

PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- The Rutgers University Department of Intercollegiate Athletics today announced it will host the "Big Ten Battle in the Bronx," a football and wrestling doubleheader between the Scarlet Knights and Maryland, at Yankee Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017. The wrestling match, which will be the first in the history of the Stadium, will take place first, before head coach Chris Ash leads the football team into action later that day.

"Never before has a doubleheader such as this taken place at a venue so iconic," said Director of Athletics Patrick Hobbs. "We are thrilled to provide our fans this one-of-a-kind experience while enhancing the Big Ten brand in the world's media capital. This is certain to be a very special day. We are thankful to the New York Yankees, the Big Ten Conference and the University of Maryland for helping to make it possible."

I would doubt that a Rutgers-Maryland dual meet will challenge the collegiate dual meet attendance record set by Iowa and Oklahoma State last year, but that doesn't mean it's not an idea worth trying.  College wrestling can use all the positive attention it can get and events like this are a great way to do that.  Best of luck to Rutgers in pulling this event together. 

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