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Stadium ready for record-setting Pinstripe Bowl

Rutgers and Notre Dame squaring off on picturesque day in the Bronx 12/28/2013

NEW YORK -- A beautiful day in the Bronx will provide the backdrop for the fourth annual New Era Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium.

With two of college football's most historic institutions set to square off in the fourth annual game, Yankees chief operating officer Lonn Trost said the atmosphere was "more than perfect."

"Perfection is insufficient. You can't be perfect. It's not enough," Trost said, citing a lesson he learned from George Steinbrenner and the Steinbrenner family. "So I ordered up a more than perfect weather day. I ordered up a sellout crowd."

And the Pinstripe Bowl ordered up a record-setting day.

Yankees president Randy Levine said attendance at the Stadium is normally capped at 40,000 people for the game. But the 2013 edition of the Pinstripe Bowl will far surpass that number, with over 47,000 tickets sold.

"This game has been a complete, 100 percent, outstanding success," Levine said.

Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick and Rutgers athletic director Julie Hermann also praised the experience leading up to Saturday's game.

"I can't imagine a better bowl experience," Swarbrick said of the opportunities Notre Dame's student-athletes have been afforded during their time in New York. "In a sense, we've already won."

Hermann echoed those sentiments.

"This is truly an exceptional student-athlete experience," she said. "I don't know that I've ever been to a bowl game that's such a phenomenal opportunity."

Players from both institutions took part in a number of events, including trips to see the Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular and Jersey Boys on Broadway, ringing the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange and visiting the 9/11 memorial.

Levine lauded both schools as well.

"You guys are first class," he said.

Now, all that remains is the action on the field, which will feature two schools with over 200 years of combined football history. Notre Dame's rich tradition, particularly at Yankee Stadium, has been well documented. Rutgers took part in the first-ever college football game and emerged victorious in the 2011 Pinstripe Bowl.

They'll square off for the George M. Steinbrenner Championship Trophy.

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