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

Published: Wednesday, July 3 2013 2:33 p.m. MDT

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.

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.

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:

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)

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)

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. 12, 2009: 54-3 win vs. Tulane in the Louisiana Superdome

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

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

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

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iNKSpot
Wilsonville, OR

So, games in the LA Coliseum with USC are neutral site games? Where does USC play its home games? And games with ASU in Sun Devil Stadium are neutral site games? Where is the Sun Devils' home field? How could you forget the Cougars beating the Sooners in Cowboy Stadium a couple of years back?

Ernest T. Bass
Bountiful, UT

Playing in NFL stadiums just gets our players ready to play in the NFL. We've put more players in the NFL except for USC.

Cool Cat Cosmo
Payson, UT

@ iNKspot: See the above note at the end of the article:

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:

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)...

The author explicitly said that said list was of the sites that could count (but DO NOT) because they house BOTH NFL and collegiate teams.

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