Thursday, March 06, 2014

UConn excited about game at Yankee Stadium

Something tells me that passionate New York Yankee fans Bob Diaco and Warde Manuel would rather have donned pinstripes and shagged fly balls at Yankee Stadium regardless of how chilly it may have been on Thursday morning.

Howrever, there was some other duties for them to tend to.

Diaco and Manuel were joined by Army AD Boo Corrigan and football coach Jeff Monken as well as Yankees' executive director for non-baseball events Mark Holtzman at a press conference promoting the Nov. 8 UConn/Army football game at Yankee Stadium.

“My family has had Yankees tickets forever, ever and ever and they still do so to be in the stadium it is a little surreal and it is a great opportunity to join the three brands, the UConn brand, the Yankee brand and the West Point brand,” Diaco said.

"I don’t think there is any doubt that it takes that step (of increasing UConn's national profile). I think any time we can take the show on the road and show people what UConn athletics, the university and the football team is specifically about it is a positive thing, to touch so many people to be in this media market and to expose UConn to this media market, kind of like UConn, the brand  is strong. The football brand may not be necessarily as strong but the brand is strong, the people come and people in the state of Connecticut travel and follow their teams."

The Yankees brass have been communicating with UConn for years in the hopes of having the Huskies play a football game there. The talks picked up in intensity several months ago when Army AD Boo Corrigan reached out to Manuel to see if the Huskies would be agreeable to having Army’s home game played at Yankee Stadium.

“I said it would be great,” said Manuel, a former baseball pitcher who grew up in New Orleans idolizing Louisiana native Ron Guidry, one of the best pitchers in the history of the Yankees. “As I told Boo, some of it is they had two great sites to pick. Both choices would have been great with me, they both had the rich, deep heritage in America.

“I have been assured by those on my staff who are Red Sox (fans) that they will be working that day and they will get here and do the work. Even they, in jest, understand the importance of the opportunity for us to be down here. As for future games I am open for further discussions. Your home base is always important for our team and our fans so we will continue that discussion and look at opportunities. Mark (Holtzman) is very talented and very persistent so I am sure that the discussion will continue for a while and I am looking forward to that.”


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