Newswise — The New York City Chapter of the National Football Foundation (NYC/NFF), host of the 2019 Cortaca Jug game being played between Ithaca College and SUNY Cortland, has announced that ticket sales have set a new all-time record for a Division III football game.
With just over six weeks to go, sales have exceeded 39,000 tickets for the game, which will be played on Saturday, November 16, at 1 p.m. at MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey. The previous record of 37,355 was set in 2017 for a game held at Target Field in Minneapolis.
“We are thrilled to be making this announcement today,” said NYC/NFF Chairman Marc Hudak ’90. “It is a testament to the interest level and tradition of this game as one of the great small-college football rivalries in the country. I am appreciative of the partnership and collaboration that we have enjoyed on both campuses as this historic matchup approaches.”
Both Ithaca College and Cortland have sold out of their on-campus ticket allotments, and sales continue to be brisk on Ticketmaster.
This year will mark the 61st time that Ithaca and Cortland have played for the Cortaca Jug, in what Sports Illustrated once referred to as “the biggest little game in the nation.”
“The enthusiasm displayed for this game by both the students and alumni of Ithaca and Cortland has been phenomenal,” Hudak continued, “and I am confident that interest in the game will remain high, especially with both the IC Bombers and Cortland Red Dragons currently sitting undefeated at 3-0 on the year.”
“It has been thrilling to see the exceptional involvement and tremendous energy that this year’s Cortaca game has inspired among Ithaca College’s alumni, students, faculty, staff and leadership and how it has deepened our connections to one another,” said Ithaca College President Shirley M. Collado. “Locating this game at MetLife Stadium has captured the imagination of our IC family in a huge way, not only prompting record ticket sales, but also by prompting the creation of outstanding experiential learning opportunities for IC students in many fields of study — communications, the arts, and business, to name a few. This game will be the largest-ever gathering of IC alumni in one place at one time, adding an exciting chapter to an already rich Cortaca tradition, and I immensely appreciate the phenomenal amount of work that has gone into transforming this great idea into an extraordinary historic moment.”
“It has been a pleasure to work with the National Football Foundation and MetLife Stadium in support of holding the game in such a remarkable venue,” said Susan Bassett, associate vice president and director of intercollegiate athletics at Ithaca College. “To have the opportunity to compete on that field is something that I know our coaches and players will cherish for the rest of their lives.”
“We are incredibly excited about this announcement, but we are not surprised,” SUNY Cortland President Erik J. Bitterbaum said. “As over 39,000 fans across both colleges will tell you, the Cortaca Jug is much more than a college football game. It is part of our history. And now, it’s not just SUNY Cortland’s history, but the history of college football itself. We are grateful for the opportunity to have MetLife Stadium to showcase both our players and the amazing school spirit that connects all SUNY Cortland students, alumni and supporters. At Cortland, we don’t believe in half measures. We go all in. And that spirit is reflected by the amazing support given to this record-breaking event.”
“This proves once and for all that the Cortaca Jug truly is the biggest little game in the nation,” said SUNY Cortland Athletic Director Mike Urtz. “The numbers speak for themselves. The incredible fan support for this game is unlike anything else in Division III athletics.”
For more information on the history of the Cortaca Jug and this year’s game, visit ithaca.edu/countdowntocortaca.
To purchase tickets to the game, visit CortacaJug.com.
Editor's Note: Additional assets and background information are available in the Cortaca 2019 Press Kit on Dropbox.