K-State Accepts Invitation to Play in Inaugural New Era Pinstripe Bowl

Ty Zimmerman

Dec. 3, 2010

MANHATTAN, Kan. – The purple masses of the Little Apple will descend upon the Big Apple for the holidays as Athletics Director John Currie announced today that Kansas State has accepted an invitation to play Syracuse in the inaugural New Era Pinstripe Bowl on December 30 in New York City.

The game will be played in the world-renowned Yankee Stadium at 2:30 p.m. CT, with a nationwide television audience watching on ESPN. K-State’s trip to the state of New York will be the third all-time for the Wildcat football program – its first since 1966 – and will mark the Cats’ first postseason appearance in the state.

K-State (7-5) will be playing in its 14th bowl game in school history and 12th under Bill Snyder as the Wildcats are 6-5 all-time in bowls under the legendary head coach. The Cats’ last trip to the postseason was back in 2006 when it played another Big East opponent, Rutgers, in the inaugural Texas Bowl.

“We couldn’t be more excited to showcase our football program, Kansas State University and our national alumni and fan base in the inaugural New Era Pinstripe Bowl, and I am pleased to accept the invitation on behalf of President Kirk Schulz, Coach Bill Snyder and our entire institution,” said Currie. “The chance for our student-athletes, band members, cheerleaders and fans to experience New York City and compete in one of the most famous venues in all of sports is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. We look forward to turning the Big Apple purple.”

The Wildcats’ seven regular season victories in 2010 were the most since 2006 and included home wins over UCLA, No. 25 UCF and traditional Big 12 Conference power Texas. K-State also kept the Governor’s Cup trophy in Manhattan for the second straight season under Snyder with a 59-7 win over in-state rival Kansas.

In addition to sporting the Big 12's No. 1 football graduation rate for the fourth consecutive season, excitement in Wildcat football was also evidenced by four sell-out crowds at Bill Snyder Family Stadium this season and the largest total attendance for a six-game home season in Kansas State history.

“We are proud of the young men in our program and the courage they have shown this season to get Kansas State University back to a bowl game, and we are very pleased to represent the Big 12 Conference in the inaugural New Era Pinstripe Bowl against Syracuse,” said Snyder. “The New York Yankees are a first-class organization and we appreciate the Steinbrenner family, Randy Levine, Lonn Trost, Mark Holtzman and the entire Pinstripe Bowl staff for their efforts and support of collegiate football.”

The Orange earned its first bowl bid since 2004 on the strength of a 7-5 record in head coach Doug Marrone’s second season. Syracuse finished Big East play with a 4-3 record, which included a 19-14 win at No. 20 West Virginia.

K-State has faced Syracuse on two occasions all-time on the gridiron with both coming in bowl games. The Wildcats defeated the Orange, 35-18, in the 1997 Fiesta Bowl before dropping a 26-3 contest in the 2001 Insight.com Bowl. The game will also mark the fifth time that Kansas State has faced a Big East opponent in the postseason.

“We are excited to have the Kansas State Wildcats representing the Big 12 Conference in the inaugural New Era Pinstripe Bowl,” said New York Yankees Managing General Partner Hal Steinbrenner.  “Throughout his life, my father was a huge fan and supporter of college football, and we are proud to continue the storied tradition of the sport in Yankee Stadium. December 30 will be an unforgettable day for players and fans of Kansas State and Syracuse.”

Fans are encouraged to purchase tickets for the game through the K-State Athletics Department. Beginning at 3 p.m. today, fans can buy tickets at the official online bowl headquarters - www.k-statesports.com/bowlgame. Tickets may also be purchased via phone (1-800-221-CATS) or in person at the Athletics Ticket Office in Bramlage Coliseum beginning Monday at 8:30 a.m.

All ticket orders made through the K-State Athletics Ticket Office will be assigned based upon the bowl priority point system, which is available on the official online bowl page.

The K-State Alumni Association will also provide official travel packages to the bowl game, with or without charter air service. Visit the Alumni Association’s official bowl travel page - www.k-statesportstravel.com - for travel package information.

Currie and Snyder will address the media at 1 p.m. today and comment on the Wildcats’ selection to the New Era Pinstripe Bowl. The press conference will be streamed live for free at k-statesports.com.