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BYU football: Cougars have played many neutral-site games in NFL stadiums over the years

Published: Monday, Aug. 3 2015 5:25 a.m. MDT

BYU's #1 Jordan Pendleton and other players celebrate a fumble recovery as BYU and Oklahoma play at Cowboys stadium in Arlington Texas.   Saturday, Sept. 5, 2009. Photo by Scott G Winterton Deseret News. (Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News) BYU's #1 Jordan Pendleton and other players celebrate a fumble recovery as BYU and Oklahoma play at Cowboys stadium in Arlington Texas. Saturday, Sept. 5, 2009. Photo by Scott G Winterton Deseret News. (Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News)

Neutral-site games in college football offer teams unique opportunities.

Such games allow for fans outside of a team's standard market footprint to see their school live while (most of the time) not allowing the opponent a significant home-field advantage. These games can also present an opportunity for extra revenue streams through sponsorships, ticket and concession sales, and the sale of additional TV broadcast rights, depending on the type of game and venue.

As reported by the Deseret News' Jeff Call Tuesday, the BYU football team considers neutral-site games important to its scheduling strategy. Most modern neutral-site games take place in NFL stadiums — venues more than capable of providing fans a first-class experience as they cheer on their team.

Giants Stadium in Rutherford, N.J. April 1992. BYU played one game in Giants Stadium before it was demolished, the 1985 Kickoff Classic vs. Boston College. (AP) Giants Stadium in Rutherford, N.J. April 1992. BYU played one game in Giants Stadium before it was demolished, the 1985 Kickoff Classic vs. Boston College. (AP)

Since BYU ventured into the independent football landscape, the ability to occasionally schedule games in neutral stadiums, enhanced by the clout of national cable network ESPN, has aided BYU's ability to find and play quality opponents on a national stage. Additionally, bowl games, played in neutral locations, regularly produce quality opponents and high-profile matchups.

BYU has played in several neutral-site games at NFL stadiums over the years.

Here's a listing of all the neutral-site games BYU has played in NFL stadiums, beginning with Angel Stadium of Anaheim.

Note: Several matchups between other universities and the Cougars were played in current and former NFL stadiums but cannot be considered neutral-site games because those venues also served as the home venue for BYU's opponent at the time. Those matchups were:

Tulane's Phil Hendeon (87) and Wayne Blair, right, carry the championship trophy following Tulane's 41-27 victory over Brigham Young University to win the Liberty Bowl in Memphis, Tenn. on Thursday, Dec. 31, 1998. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey) (MARK HUMPHREY, Associated Press) Tulane's Phil Hendeon (87) and Wayne Blair, right, carry the championship trophy following Tulane's 41-27 victory over Brigham Young University to win the Liberty Bowl in Memphis, Tenn. on Thursday, Dec. 31, 1998. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey) (MARK HUMPHREY, Associated Press)

Oct. 2, 1976: 8-0 win vs. San Diego State at San Diego Stadium (San Diego Chargers)

Nov. 9, 1979: 31-17 win vs. Long Beach State at Anaheim Stadium (L.A. Rams)

Nov. 24, 1979: 63-14 win vs. San Diego State at San Diego Stadium (San Diego Chargers)

Sep. 5, 1981: 31-8 win vs. Long Beach State at Anaheim Stadium (L.A. Rams)

Oct. 17, 1981: 27-7 win vs. San Diego State at Jack Murphy Stadium (San Diego Chargers)

Oct. 22, 1983: 38-34 win vs. San Diego State at Jack Murphy Stadium (San Diego Chargers)

Nov. 29, 1986: 3-10 loss vs. San Diego State at Jack Murphy Stadium (San Diego Chargers)

BYU's David Christensen reaches for the ball he just fumbled after a first quarter punt. The Trojans recovered and eventually scored a TD. (Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News) BYU's David Christensen reaches for the ball he just fumbled after a first quarter punt. The Trojans recovered and eventually scored a TD. (Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News)

Dec. 3, 1988: 41-17 loss vs. Miami in the Orange Bowl (Miami Dolphins)

Nov. 25, 1989: 48-27 win vs. San Diego State at Jack Murphy Stadium (San Diego Chargers)

Nov. 16, 1991: 52-52 tie vs. San Diego State at Jack Murphy Stadium (San Diego Chargers)

Nov. 11, 1993: 45-44 win vs. San Diego State at Jack Murphy Stadium (San Diego Chargers)

Oct. 14, 1995: 21-29 loss vs. Arizona State in Sun Devil Stadium (Arizona Cardinals)

Sep. 20, 1997: 13-10 win vs. Arizona State in Sun Devil Stadium (Arizona Cardinals)

Sep. 27, 1997: 19-16 win vs. SMU in the Cotton Bowl (Dallas Cowboys)

Oct. 11, 1997: 14-27 loss vs. Rice at Rice Stadium (Houston Oilers)

Colorado linebacker Don DeLuzio (top) attempts to stop BYU fullback Fred Whittingham during second quarter action on Thursday night, Dec. 29, 1988 at the Freedom Bowl in Anaheim, Calif. The game was played in Angel Stadium of Anaheim, then known as Anaheim Stadium (Reed Saxon, ASSOCIATED PRESS) Colorado linebacker Don DeLuzio (top) attempts to stop BYU fullback Fred Whittingham during second quarter action on Thursday night, Dec. 29, 1988 at the Freedom Bowl in Anaheim, Calif. The game was played in Angel Stadium of Anaheim, then known as Anaheim Stadium (Reed Saxon, ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Nov. 6, 1999: 30-7 win vs. San Diego State at Qualcomm Stadium (San Diego Chargers)

Oct. 27, 2001: 59-21 win vs. San Diego State at Qualcomm Stadium (San Diego Chargers)

Sept 6, 2003: 35-18 loss vs. USC in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum (L.A. Raiders, L.A. Rams)

Oct. 4, 2003: 44-36 win vs. San Diego State at Qualcomm Stadium (San Diego Chargers)

Oct. 1, 2005: 31-10 loss vs. San Diego State at Qualcomm Stadium (San Diego Chargers)

Dec. 1, 2007: 43-27 win vs. San Diego State at Qualcomm Stadium (San Diego Chargers)

Sep. 5, 2009: 14-13 win vs. Oklahoma in Cowboys Stadium (Dallas Cowboys)

Sep. 12, 2009: 54-3 win vs. Tulane in the Louisiana Superdome (New Orleans Saints)

Marshall running back Doug Chapman (22) dives over the defensive line of Brigham Young's Isaac Kelley, left, and Rob Morris (44) for a touchdown in the fourth quarter Monday, Dec. 27, 1999, during the Motor City Bowl in Pontiac, Mich. Marshall beat Brigham Young 21-3. (DUANE BURLESON, ASSOCIATED PRESS) Marshall running back Doug Chapman (22) dives over the defensive line of Brigham Young's Isaac Kelley, left, and Rob Morris (44) for a touchdown in the fourth quarter Monday, Dec. 27, 1999, during the Motor City Bowl in Pontiac, Mich. Marshall beat Brigham Young 21-3. (DUANE BURLESON, ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Oct. 17, 2009: 38-28 win vs. San Diego State at Qualcomm Stadium (San Diego Chargers)

Landon Hemsley is the sports web producer for DeseretNews.com. Email: lhemsley@deseretnews.com. Twitter.com/EarlOfHemsley

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