Notre Dame will indeed play in the Pinstripe Bowl Dec. 28 at Yankee Stadium in New York, the school confirmed Saturday.
“Quite simply, we are thrilled to bring our football program to the New Era Pinstripe Bowl,” coach Brian Kelly said in a statement. “We were privileged to play in New York City and Yankee Stadium in 2010. The treatment our University received from the Steinbrenner family, the New York Yankees and the entire organization was unlike anything we’ve experienced in my tenure at Notre Dame.”
Notre Dame will face Rutgers in the game, which kicks off at 12:15 p.m. (EST). It'll be Notre Dame's second game played at the new Yankee Stadium, the first being a 2010 Shamrock Series win over Army. Rutgers beat South Florida on Saturday to reach six wins, rendering them bowl eligible.
The Pinstripe Bowl long was viewed as the most logical landing spot for Notre Dame, with the school's large alumni base in the area and an open spot due to the Big 12 not producing a seventh bowl-eligible team.
Notre Dame seniors said after their loss to Stanford they'd like to play in a warm-weather location, though New York doesn't qualify in that regard. But the San Diego-based Poinsettia Bowl was the only game that could guarantee pleasant weather out of the bowls with clear openings.
Given the $500,000 payout of the Poinsettia Bowl, that game may not have made a lot of sense for Notre Dame.
The tentative schedule for the Pinstripe Bowl has Notre Dame arriving in New York on Christmas Eve, then practicing on the 25th and 26th before walkthroughs at Yankee Stadium on Dec. 27.
The Pinstripe Bowl is in its fourth year of existence, and this will be the first game in which an AAC/Big East team hasn't faced a Big 12 team.