FCS games popping up at MLB stadiums

(STATS) - Tennessee State plays its home games in an NFL stadium but won its season opener at Georgia State on Thursday night in the former Turner Field, where the Atlanta Braves used to call home.

One of the growing trends in the subdivision is for teams to play football games inside Major League Baseball stadiums.

It bodes well for the FCS that some of its teams have such drawing power.

In 2013, nonconference rivals Southeast Missouri from the Ohio Valley Conference and Southern Illinois of the Missouri Valley Football Conference played at Busch Stadium, home of the St. Louis Cardinals.

Yankee Stadium played host to the 150th meeting of Lafayette and Lehigh in 2014 and another Patriot League matchup, Holy Cross versus Fordham, was played there last year. In 2019, the Ivy League game between Princeton and Dartmouth (Nov. 9) will be played at Yankee Stadium to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Princeton's involvement in the first college football game.

This year, Fenway Park will get into the act with three games, including two involving FCS teams. Brown and Dartmouth will play their Ivy League game on Nov. 10, while one day later, Maine from CAA Football will take on FBS program UMass.

"Fenway Park is a special place, even if you are not from New England," Brown coach Phil Estes said. "I know our players will light up when they walk on to the hallowed turf at Fenway and look up at the Green Monster."

Two other FCS games are scheduled for future seasons. OVC power Jacksonville State and Big South program Kennesaw State will meet on Nov. 17, 2018, in the first college football game to be played at SunTrust Park, the Braves' new home. Also, Missouri Valley power North Dakota State will host Pioneer Football League member Butler on Aug. 31, 2019, at Target Field, home of the Minnesota Twins.

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