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ACC stakes a claim to NYC with Pinstripe Bowl

NEW YORK — The Atlantic Coast Conference is staking a claim to New York City by adding the Pinstripe Bowl to its postseason lineup.

The conference and the Yankee Stadium bowl game have agreed to a six-year deal that starts in 2014. Commissioner John Swofford was in the Bronx on Tuesday for a news conference with Yankees officials.

“This is truly a terrific opportunity,” Swofford said Tuesday. “To play in this game on an annual basis, in the media capital of the world and partner with the most storied and iconic franchise, and stadium, in American sports.

“It’s a partnership that makes sense in every way.”

The ACC is expanding north, adding Pittsburgh, Syracuse and Notre Dame this season. The Fighting Irish will remain a football independent, but will play five games per season against ACC teams. Louisville will join in 2014.

“Certainly New York becomes a very, very important part of our footprint and our newly aligned conference,” Swofford said.

Swofford re-iterated that the conference is discussing playing its men’s basketball tournament in the New York area in the future, but that it hasn’t gone past that point.

The Pinstripe Bowl announced a deal with the Big Ten earlier this month that also starts in 2014, though it runs for eight years.

This year’s Pinstripe Bowl, sponsored by New Era, will be the fourth and final under its original agreement with the Big East (which becomes the American Athletic Conference next season) and the Big 12.

The American had hoped to remain a part of the bowl it helped get off the ground, but with the turnover in the conference due to realignment, the league lost its geographic appeal to bowl organizers.

“We are really proud of the role we played in the creation of the Pinstripe Bowl and certainly expect to see that game continue to grow,” said Nick Carparelli, senior associate commissioner for the American.

And with the ACC and Big Ten expanding into the Northeast, it gave the Pinstripe Bowl a chance to upgrade.

“It’s amazing just how far this bowl has come in such a short time,” Pinstripe Bowl executive director Mark Holtzman said. “We are now one of the premier bowls in the country.”

Yankees President Randy Levine said the team might even consider bidding to host a College Football Playoff game in the future.

“We’ve taken a step up we believe with the Big Ten and the ACC, and we believe that after performing for a couple more years, we’ll be as good as any venue there is to a host a semifinal or eventually a championship game,” he said.

Swofford said the ACC will not have a fixed selection system for its postseason lineup, the rest of which has yet to be announced.

He said the conference will use a tiered system for setting up its bowl matchups that league and bowl officials hope will create more flexibility and prevent teams from making multiple appearances in the same postseason games in a short period of time.

ESPN.com reported earlier this week that the Pinstripe Bowl will share the ACC’s third through sixth selections with the Belk and Sun bowls, along with the Gator and Music City bowls, which will rotate between Big Ten and ACC teams.

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