Final Tommie-Johnnie football clash set for Nov. 7

| February 13, 2020 | 0 Comments

In action from the 2017 Tommie-Johnnie game, St. Thomas tries to move the ball upfield during a 20-17 win at Target Field in Minneapolis. DAVE HRBACEK | THE CATHOLIC SPIRIT

A classic college football rivalry is coming to an end this fall. The final game between the University of St. Thomas and St. John’s University will be played Nov. 7 at U.S. Bank Stadium in downtown Minneapolis. St. John’s made the decision to move it there rather than play at its home stadium in Collegeville, where the game had originally been scheduled to play.

St. Thomas will leave the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference in 2021 after presidents from the 13 schools in the conference voted in May to remove St. Thomas due to concerns about the school’s dominance in football and other sports. Both St. Thomas and St. John’s currently play in the conference, and have long-standing rivalries, especially in football.

In 2017, the Tommie-Johnnie football game was played at Target Field in Minneapolis, home of the Minnesota Twins, and drew an NCAA Division III record 37,355 fans. Last fall, the game was played at Allianz Field in St. Paul and drew a capacity crowd of 19.508. This year’s game will be the 90th meeting of the two teams, and will come 119 years after the first competition between the two universities.

Tickets will go on sale 10 a.m. March 13. Already, ticket demand is “off the charts” according to Bob Alpers, athletic director of St. John’s. Playing the final game of the rivalry at U.S. Bank Stadium will be a “special opportunity,” said Phil Esten, vice president and director of athletics for St. Thomas.

With both teams set to play in different conferences and, perhaps, different divisions, starting in 2021, the possibility of any future meetings is uncertain.

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