“The economics have changed, and universities need to raise money for all of their athletic programs,” he said. “By being able to move the game to a larger venue with a bigger guarantee, that’s gone into their thinking.”
The ability to broaden a school’s recruiting base also plays a role.
“Clearly, there’s some recruiting advantages, and playing in that kind of metropolitan area, that’s a pretty rich recruiting area,” Cincinnati coach Brian Kelly said. “I think it’s pretty, pretty important for us to go in that direction.”
While there are few stadiums as large as FedEx Field, the facility does have some competition. Baltimore’s M&T; Bank Stadium, with a capacity of more than 71,000, has lured the Army-Navy game and lacrosse championships. The new Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, with a capacity of over 100,000, is expected to lure major events, and the new stadium for the NFL’s Jets and Giants in East Rutherford, N.J., also will have a capacity above 100,000 when it opens next year.