BRONX, N.Y. — Football teams from Iowa and Boston College weren’t the only ones with a game plan for Wednesday’s Pinstripe Bowl.
A 23-degree temperature and a biting wind chill of 12 degrees for the game’s early evening kickoff at Yankee Stadium forced Iowa fans in attendance to devise their game plan for dealing with the late December conditions.
"Long johns, warm jeans, two T-shirts, a flannel shirt, sweater, a heavy coat, scarfs and a stocking cap, I’m ready for anything," Iowa fan Rachel Monrow said. "I live in Jersey now, but I grew up in Iowa. I’m hearty."
She said wouldn’t miss the Hawkeye football team’s first appearance in the New York City metro area in 25 years for anything.
"Living here, I don’t get my Hawkeye fix too often. Got to get it when I can, even in this weather," Monrow said.
The temperature was the coldest in the bowl’s eight-year history, leaving the stands at the major-league baseball stadium sparsely populated for one of two postseason games played in an outdoor venue in a northern climate.
Randy Levine, president of the New York Yankees, said 400 tickets sold by midday on Wednesday pushed the bowl to a paid attendance of 37,667.
"We are pleased with the number of fans who have supported the bowl. It has become a holiday tradition in New York City," Levine said, adding that the bowl will turn a profit.
He described college football as a passion of longtime Yankees owner George Steinbrenner and said hosting a bowl and building a facility capable of hosting college football games was a requirement when the new Yankee Stadium was built.
The game created easily the coldest conditions Iowa has played in this season.
The only thing close was 30-degree weather the Hawkeyes played in at Wisconsin on Nov. 11.
Bitter conditions and an urban setting limited tailgate options for fans who may have wanted to brave the weather.
Still, a handful of Hawkeye fans were milling around outside of Yankee Stadium several hours before the game’s kickoff.
Ray Gilliand, of Council Bluffs, Iowa, was among them, protected by a parka and stocking hat and, as he put it, "plenty of Hawkeye spirit."
Gilliand attended the game with a friend, Bob Martin of suburban Philadelphia.
"We grew up together and we’re both big Iowa fans," Gilliand said. "When I found out they were coming out here to New York, this was going to happen. It’s a little chilly, but we’re having a good time."
Martin found another way to describe it.
"Football weather," he said. "Big Ten weather. Hawkeye weather. We’re going to have a great time."
Iowa used about 2,500 tickets from the allotment of 7,500 tickets it was required to take for the game as part of the Big Ten’s contract with the Pinstripe Bowl.
Big Ten schools not only pool bowl revenue, distributing dollars generated from bowl participation evenly between each of the 14 schools and the league office, they also pool the cost of purchasing unsold bowl tickets evenly, minimizing the impact on a single school if it does not sell its full allotment.