(Photo: ASU Athletics)
Arizona State is close to announcing another high-profile game in an NFL stadium.
That’s what Vice President for University Athletics and Athletic Director Steve Patterson indicated in an impromptu interview with reporters outside of AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas on Saturday evening, just hours before the Sun Devils lost to Notre Dame, 37-34.
“We’re negotiating on another one right now,” Patterson said. “Hopefully we’ll get the contract done in the next month to be able to announce that. That will be an exciting game, a one-off in another NFL stadium.”
While Patterson failed to allude to when, where or who the opponent may be, it’s fair to wonder if the game would replace either of the previously schedule matchups against LSU or Notre Dame in 2015.
The Sun Devils were scheduled to play the Tigers in Baton Rouge in 2015, followed by a home game in Tempe in 2016. The series was pushed back and replacement dates have not been announced.
The postponement leaves a second opening for a nonconference game in 2015. Notre Dame previously backed out of the third and final game in the series, which was to be played in South Bend. Patterson didn’t seem too upset about losing that game on the schedule.
“There’s nothing disappointing about losing the third game in the series,” Patterson said. “They decided to take their ball and go home because their mommy didn’t want to play with us, so we’re gonna go and pick a much bigger game for a lot more money somewhere else and have a lot of fun.”
Patterson said the goal is for Arizona State to play in games similar to Saturday’s nationally televised game ever year.
“We want to continue to sort of look at that,” Patterson said. “We have to balance two things. One thing, we want to get to the point where we have seven games at home every year. But we like having these national presence games.
“We want to be able to be strategic about going to these markets outside of the valley at least once every year.”
One possible scenario could see the Sun Devils in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game, held annually at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. Next year features a doubleheader, with Ole Miss playing Boise State on a Thursday, followed by Alabama and West Virginia on a Saturday.
So far, the only game announced for the Chick-fil-A Kickoff in 2015 is Auburn vs. Louisville, leaving the door open for a second game.
Other options that would make sense include a trip to Reliant Stadium in Houston or even a conference game against either Cal or Stanford at Levi’s Stadium, set to open in 2014 in Santa Clara, Calif., but at this point these locations and games are nothing more than speculation.
Jason Galvin is the football beat reporter for Cronkite Sports and a contributor for House of Sparky.