On November 6, 1869, Rutgers University played neighboring Princeton during the first-ever game of intercollegiate U.S. football on a grassy park that’s now the site of Rutgers’ main gymnasium. Rutgers U., affiliated at the time with the Dutch Reformed Church, beat up on the Princeton Presbyterians by the score of 6-4.
The seemingly low tally wasn’t because both teams hadn’t perfected their inside-the-20 game or deep pass routes. At the time, the U.S. football included a lot of kicking and it was scored based on European football (soccer) rules.
As the largest state university in New Jersey and the 8th oldest post-secondary school in the U.S., Rutgers is one of the nine original “Colonial Colleges” founded before the American Revolution. Seven of those are Ivy League schools today, while Rutgers and the College of William & Mary in Virginia are public institutions.
In July, Rutgers Athletics transferred from the Big East Conference to the Big Ten. For those unfamiliar with the vagaries of how college sports teams are chopped up by regions and divisions, that means Rutgers is now part of what you might call the “Big Boys Conference.” It includes a bunch of the nation’s powerhouse teams and perennial Bowl favorites: Michigan, Ohio State, Indiana, Nebraska, Penn State and more.
“When we were part of the Big East Conference before we didn’t have all of the exposure like we will now with all of the nationally televised games,” says Pat Weldon, director of sales/marketing at The Heldrich Hotel, which is surrounded by the Rutgers’ campus. Weldon explains that the conference move has brought a wealth of new energy and business to the hotel and the city when the country’s most iconic teams come to play.
During its first month of games playing in the Big Ten this month, Rutgers is 3-1, with the one narrow defeat coming at the hands of Penn State. However, according to the 2014 schedule, mid-October is looking more than a little scary with back-to-back away games at Nebraska and Ohio State.
So, with all of the gridiron excitement taking over the Rutgers’ campus, The Heldrich came out with two new travel deals:
Big Ten Conference Package
Rutgers joins the Big Ten Conference for the 2014 Season! Act now to secure two tickets to one of the six Rutgers home games. Your package will include luxurious accommodations for two in a spacious king room. Spend the morning at the Spa at the Heldrich to rest up for the big game. Enjoy drinks in Christophers’ Lounge with your complimentary drink tickets, then let us worry about the transportation to and from the Stadium!
—Standard king guest room for two
—Two tickets to Rutgers home game
—1 adult drink ticket per person, per night (limit two per room)
—Shuttle to and from Stadium, reservation at time of booking only
—Two night minimum required
—One package per person, per game
The Heldrich is located in the epicenter of Rutgers’ five New Brunswick campuses, across the street from the State Theatre and George Street Playhouse, and it is within close walking distance to the Stress Factory Comedy Club and outstanding dining and nightlife.
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