Approximately 40,000 tickets were sold for the second annual Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium, which has a capacity of 44,000 for college football this year.
"That is really good, it’s principally where we were last year almost exactly," said Yankees president Randy Levine at a news conference a couple hours before kickoff.
Both Rutgers and Iowa State, the two schools competing in the game this year, sold out their allotments of over 13,000 tickets each. And both schools' athletic directors had high praise for the bowl game and the experiences their teams have had during the past week leading up to the game, which included a tour of the National September 11 Memorial and a boat cruise around New York Harbor on Wednesday.
"They’ve hit a home run," said Iowa State athletic director Jamie Pollard. "I called Chuck Neinas, the commissioner of the Big 12, this morning and shared with him that this is one of the best bowl destinations I've ever been to -- and I've been to the Rose Bowl, I've been to a lot of the great bowls. What you have to offer our student-athletes no one else can compete with."
"It’s been an awesome week for our entire program," said Rutgers director of intercollegiate athletics Tim Pernetti. "When the Pinstripe Bowl was conceived, we had kind of an inside joke, about our goal is obviously to win the conference and play for the national championship, and if that doesn’t occur we want to play in New York. And we have just been completely overwhelmed by what the Yankee organization has provided."
Yankees chief operating officer Lonn Trost said the Yankees did alter the seating from last year's inaugural Pinstripe Bowl between Syracuse and Kansas State, because of the heavy snow that fell prior to that game and the challenges the weather posed. Four sections of the upper deck will be empty, and the Legends seats down the first- and third-base lines are covered.
Sponsorship revenue for the game was up 40 percent this year, and the game will finish in the black financially for the second straight year.