Some Final Thoughts On The MetLife Game Before We Complain All Over Again Next Year

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Some parting words on our 2nd "home away from home" game at Metlife Stadium.

Here's what I said about the annual MetLife game in the TNIAAM Penn St. roundtable column:

I want to see hard data proof that it's worth it. The attendance & ticket sales obviously aren't worth it. Syracuse fans are clearly always going to be out-attended at our "home away from home." So, show me what it gets us. It helps with recruiting? Prove to me that we're getting better recruits simply by playing this game. It raises our visibility? Show me some kind of evidence of that.

I know this year's game wasn't technically a home game, but Syracuse still refers to MetLife as our "home away from home." (And please do not let the irony that Penn State was listed in box scores as the home team for the one road game that Syracuse is actually supposed to be "the home team on the road" pass you by).

After two years, here's what I know:

1. The "New York City" effect is...completely ineffective. No one cares.

2. The game will never be a home game for Syracuse, at least in terms of attendance. That's less a knock on SU fans and more realization that this will always be more of an event for the other fanbase. A fanbase that is likely to be much bigger than ours, at that.

3. The players know it.

4. Attendance will depend solely on the opponent. USC traveled cross-country for 39K*and Penn State shuffled in 61K*. Next year, Notre Dame's crowd may land in the middle (or may be higher given their fanbase).

As others have written and I have written, of course, all of those things were not the point (Well, maybe No. 1 was). So like I said at the top...I just want to see the proof that these games are worth it. I want someone to show me how, because we play in this game every year, we get better recruits and benefit in some other way. I highly doubt anyone will ever be able to do that, but, there it is.

Also, and maybe this is asking too much, but, we gotta start winning at lease some of these games. Otherwise, pretty soon the sell is going to go from "schedule us and we'll play you in the shadow of New York City" to "schedule us and beat us in the shadow of New York City." I suppose that makes it even more appealing to top tier programs that want to play here, but, not so much for us.

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