The Syracuse Orange may not have made it to New Orleans to end the 2012 season, but they'll get a chance to start the 2013 season on a giant boat. San Diego State will open the season on Friday, November 9th, against Syracuse on the deck of the USS Midway aircraft carrier.
The 67-year-old USS Midway became a floating museum in 2004. Syndicus Entertainment is partnering with the San Diego Sports Commission to stage the game there, along with several other events themed around Veterans Day weekend.
The game will generate a lot of attention and Syracuse fans said they were glad the Orange could be part of it.
"It's exposure, a lot of people will watch. That's important to the Navy - I'm sure they'll have a huge, nice crowd," said SU fan Nathan Ben-Simon on Marshall Street near the SU campus.
"Just to start off the year, that would be great for us getting exposure," said SU law student Evan Baron. "Especially in the early months of December and January when we're kind of restricted to Upstate New York, I think it's a great idea."
Due to the difficulties of putting temporary bleachers up on the flight deck, it appears that only about 4,000 tickets will be available. Some SU fans liked the idea of honoring the military but felt the game itself was a bit of a gimmick.
"I don't know why they'd want to do that. I just think it would be really silly," said SU student Elizabeth Mitchell.
Gimmick or not, the game will generate a lot of national attention for SU and should quiet some critics that say Syracuse plays too many early season games in the Carrier Dome.
"To have that kind of very different experience, it's something the players will remember for the rest of their lives," said SU fan Anthony Greco. "As a fan we'll be able to talk about it for the rest of our lives, it's definitely a cool experience."
Organizers say that the game will be nationally televised but the specifics will be announced at a later date.