New York City doesn’t sound like the typical college-football hotspot. But in an odd way, it may be the perfect place to find a niche audience making that night out something special in the big apple. College GameDay is set for Time Square on Saturday, September 22, 2017. But is NYC the best place to get your game on?
Does college football and New York City really mix? You should ask ESPN executive Lee Fitting.
“People say: Why New York? The simple answer is: Why not New York?” Fitting said Thursday by telephone. “No offense to these schools, but there will be other good matchups (in other weeks). ‘GameDay’ has gone to Wrigley Field, to an aircraft carrier in San Diego, to Harvard-Yale, to Fargo (N.D.). It’s rare when someone says: I’ll never forget that Tennessee-South Carolina show.”
Former longtime College GameDay host Chris Fowler is credited as the person who came up with the idea of bringing the event to New York City. Fowler reportedly came up with the idea five or six years ago after seeing bars in NYC packed with college football fans on Saturday night.
“People who are against it are ‘GameDay’ purists, and we love the passion,” Fitting said. “But some of the same people looked at us sideways when we said: We’re going to James Madison.”
SBNation reporter Richard Johnson was raised in Gainesville, Florida, which is a college football hot-spot. He now lives in New York City, where he has discovered a thriving bar scene jam-packed with college football culture. He reports that every Saturday night, “tribes” of fans congregate at “watering holes throughout the metropolis” to celebrate their favorite teams and watch them play.
There are plenty of bars in New York City catered to your sports-viewing pleasures. There’s also bars who specifically cater to niche fans of college football teams, hosting live viewings and sometimes giving out free shots whenever their team scores a touchdown. Find your best pub to enjoy College GameDay.
Here’s a video of a USF viewing party at a Manhattan bar…
The bar, in the video, reportedly gave out free shots whenever the South Florida bulls scored a touchdown. At the time of its introduction, USF was scoring very well. But since their offense took off midway through 2016, the bar had to water-down shots because of obvious reasons (they were going too fast).
Meanwhile, Stillwater Bar & Grill is known for their Oklahoma State memorabilia and fans, as well as their OSU viewing parties…
NYC is now looking like the best place to enjoy College GameDay!