Urban League Classic To Return New York in 2009

By Off The BASN Sports Wire
Updated: February 22, 2005

NEW YORK – The New York Jets and the New York Urban League announced Tuesday that the Whitney M. Young Jr. Football Classic will move to New York City when the New York Sports and Convention Center opens on Manhattan’s far West Side. The 35-year old annual football classic between two historically black colleges is currently played at the Meadowlands in New Jersey.

The announcement was made by New York Jets President Jay Cross; Larry Dais, New York Urban League Board Member and Chair of the Football Classic Committee; and Darwin Davis, CEO of the New York Urban League. Jets Alumni Emerson Boozer, and Freeman McNeil as well as numerous elected officials, civic and community leaders also attended the announcement.

The Whitney M. Young Jr. Football Classic would again give New Yorkers the opportunity to enjoy what has become one of the most popular college football games across the country and will bring 75,000 new visitors to the City annually while generating millions in fiscal impact.

“We are proud to announce that the New York Urban League will bring the Whitney M. Young Jr. Football Classic from New Jersey to New York City,” said Cross. “This classic represents the type of event that will generate significant revenue for our City and bring thousands of new visitors to enjoy all that New York has to offer.”

“Last June we announced the creation of the Big Apple Bowl – a new annual post season college football game which will be held at the NYSCC as well. Four years before the NYSCC is scheduled to open, and we have already brought two major events to New York that will generate millions of dollars in new tax revenue and fill thousands of hotel rooms. These two events demonstrate the enormous, untapped potential of this facility,” Cross added.

“The Whitney M. Young Classic is a time honored tradition that the New York Urban League is proud to have initiated in 1971 and to sponsor annually,” said Dais. “The game was originally played in New York City. It brings together alumni and spectators from all over the country for an enjoyable football experience while helping low-income New York City youth.”

Davis added, “By moving the game to the New York Sports and Convention Center, we will not only bring new revenue to the city economy – revenue that will help pay for vital government services – but it will also make it that much more meaningful for our scholarship recipients who will be able to enjoy the game in their own hometown.”

“The Whitney M. Young Classic is always a highly spirited football game and it will be a significant asset to the New York City sports scene,” said NFL Commissioner, Paul Tagliabue.

“The Whitney M. Young Classic represents the best of football,” said New York Jets Head Coach Herman Edwards. “It gives our most disadvantaged youth a sense of hope and determination that they too can overcome the odds and achieve their dreams. I look forward to watching this great tradition from the sidelines of our own Jets stadium in New York City.”

The revenues from the Annual Whitney M. Young, Jr. Football Classic are used to fund college scholarships for low-income New York City students, to sponsor the New York Urban League’s educational programs, and to support the colleges and universities that participate in each game. Since its inception the Football Classic has generated approximately $20 million in scholarships granted to more than 4,000 college students.

The New York Urban League, Inc. one of the local affiliates of the National Urban League, is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, multi-ethnic, social service organization. The mission of the New York Urban League is to promote opportunities and to help individuals, families, and communities achieve their full potential and to help effect policy in the public and private sectors so as to eliminate racism and its effects.