Seniors Eric Allen and Nick Delisso stood near the staircase inside the SUNY Cortland Alumni house Monday evening chatting with four student alumni relation students before handing over three blue T-shirts and grabbing three white Cortaca Jug shirts in return.
Both men will head to MetLife Stadium in Rutherford, New Jersey, on Saturday for the big, record-setting, football game against rival Ithaca College.
“It will be cool to see it in MetLife Stadium,” Allen said, recalling how he was there last year to see the New York Jets play the Green Bay Packers.
His team, Green Bay, won that game. Now he hopes to see his college win.
Monday marked the beginning of a week-long series of events leading to the game, and it all started with a little competition between the colleges with the T-shirt giveaway.
The game plan
Watching the game
Ithaca College will live-stream the game on ICTV/Roy H. Park School of Communications via a coordinated feed with the stadium. For more information visit http://bit.ly/2qKJ9Z5
“We do lose the blues and Ithaca does shed the red,” said Taylor Lynch, the assistant director of alumni engagement. The discarded blue items will be donated to the Thrifty Shopper Rescue Mission.
The 61st jug game is set to break an all-time attendance record for a Division III football game. So far, 42,500 tickets have been sold for it, said Fred Pierce, the college’s director of communications. That would top the record of 37,355 set in 2017 at Target Field in Minneapolis.
MetLife Stadium can hold 82,500 people.
The one-time move to the stadium was made to appeal to the nearly 35,000 alumni both SUNY Cortland and Ithaca College have in the New York metropolitan area.
Both SUNY Cortland and Ithaca College have also sold out their on-campus ticket allotments, according to a news release. SUNY Cortland expects to fill 11 buses to bring 500 students to the game and back the day of the event, Pierce said.
Students unable to make the trip down can attend a Cortaca Jug watch party at 1 p.m. in the Corey Union Function Room.
Cortland police are also gearing up this week for those students staying behind to watch the game, although they aren’t expecting as large a detail as in past years.
“It’s our assumption that a majority of the students will go to the game,” said Lt. David Guerrera. “We also don’t anticipate the number of out-of-town visitors we would see.”
The only officers working Friday and Saturday will be doing mandatory overtime and the Cortland County Sheriff Office and state police haven’t been invited to help, as in past years.
“In years past, we’ve mandated overtime for everybody,” Guerrera said. “If it’s a ghost town around here we’ll send officers home as need be, but we need them here in case.”
Officers will provide both foot and car patrols downtown and across the college housing neighborhoods.
The game is set to be a good matchup. Cortland is 8-1 and Ithaca is 7-2. Ithaca will be the home team for the game and leads the all-time series 44-33-3 and 37-24 in 60 Cortaca Jug games.
Julia Walters, a senior, said she’s excited to go to her first-ever game.
“I’ve worked every Cortaca Jug, it’s my senior year and it will be nice to experience something so close to home,” the Long Island native said.