Just when you thought it couldn’t get any bigger, the football rivalry between Ithaca College and SUNY Cortland is doing just that. On Tuesday, the two institutions announced that they have accepted an invitation from the New York Yankees organization to play the 2022 Cortaca Jug at storied Yankee Stadium. The game will be held on Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022 with a 1 p.m. kickoff.
The Cortland Red Dragons and the Ithaca Bombers played the 2019 game at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey in front of a Division III-record crowd of 45,161 fans. Once referred to by Sports Illustrated as “the biggest little game in the nation,” the Cortaca Jug was not contested in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. The 2021 game will take place on Saturday, Nov. 13 at SUNY Cortland.
Ithaca and Cortland will each be issued 5,000 tickets in the fall of 2022 for sale to their students, faculty, and staff at a price of $24.50.
Tickets will go on sale for the general public this fall, beginning on Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2021, with most seats priced from $24.50 to $69.50. Those tickets will be sold through Ticketmaster at CortacaJug.com. All tickets will be delivered digitally and mobile presentation will be the sole method of entry.
“We are excited about this opportunity to once again showcase this great game in such an iconic venue,” said Cortland’s Director of Athletics Mike Urtz ’94, M ’00. “What Cortland and Ithaca have is so unique at our level. It’s all because of the great and storied history of both universities and their athletic programs, including football.”
While the stadium is best known as the home of baseball’s Bronx Bombers, it has also seen its share of memorable football games and currently hosts the annual New Era Pinstripe Bowl.
“Anyone who has ever attended a Cortaca Jug game can tell you that there is nothing else like it in Division III athletics,” Cortland President Erik J. Bitterbaum said. “It has been a proud tradition for more than six decades and is ingrained in our institutional DNA. We are thrilled by this opportunity to again take this cherished event to a national stage.”
According to Mark Holtzman, vice president of non-baseball sports events for the Yankees, it was observing the success of the 2019 Cortaca Jug game that inspired the organization to extend the invitation to the two schools.
“We are looking forward to rolling out the pinstriped carpet and welcoming Ithaca and Cortland to the Yankee Stadium lineup,” said Holtzman. “We believe we have the opportunity to have a sellout crowd and we are intent on creating a memorable experience for the teams and for their fans.”
“To be a small part of the history and tradition of iconic college football rivalries held at Yankee Stadium is both humbling and exhilarating,” said Cortland’s head football coach Curt Fitzpatrick. “This is an awesome opportunity for Red Dragon football to once again play on a national stage in an iconic venue. Thank you to the New York Yankees organization for the invitation.”
The 2022 contest will serve as a home game for Ithaca College and mark the 63rd time that the two schools — located just 21 miles apart from each other in Upstate New York — have squared off for the Cortaca Jug. The rivalry originated in 1959, when friends and respective team captains Tom Decker ’61 of Cortland and Dick Carmean of Ithaca picked up a jug at a yard sale to serve as the prize for the winner of the annual game between the schools. Each year’s result is painted on the Jug — the original one ran out of room for scores in the mid-1980s, and the teams are now on their third Jug.
“Our Cortaca tradition is an amazing way to bring Red Dragons together and share our collective Cortland spirit,” said Erin Boylan, executive director of Alumni Engagement at SUNY Cortland. “We are very excited to host alumni at Yankee Stadium. Our game at MetLife Stadium was our largest alumni event to date and we look forward to making Cortaca 2022 the Biggest Little Game ever.”
Additional details about the 2021 game in Cortland and the 2022 game at Yankee Stadium will be shared soon at CortlandRedDragons.com, RedDragonNetwork.org and Cortland.edu/Cortaca.