They’re calling it The Battle for Greater Baltimore. Both of the Division I football teams in the city officially announced an annual series Tuesday that should electrify fans for years to come.
Only five miles separate the stadiums on their respective campuses. Over the next four years, on one Saturday each fall, nothing will separate them on the gridiron.
“It’s a long time coming,” said Towson head football coach Rob Ambrose.
“This is our big time,” said Morgan State head football coach Fred T. Farrier.
Towson and Morgan State are committed to playing each other each season through 2020.
“By taking the two Division I teams, that are a stone’s throw away, and putting them on the same field together, if that’s not about making our community better in the name of football I don’t know what is,” added Ambrose.
Said Farrier: “Why can’t we have a big time football venue event that is a huge city-wide deal that everybody supports?
We did for a while.
The Tigers and Bears battled almost every season from 1979 to 2011 before putting the series on hold. This new Battle for Greater Baltimore is finalized for 2017 and ’18. The details are still being worked through for 2019 and ’20.
“The students definitely want it. They see each other across town. They eat at the same restaurants. The alumni definitely want it. There’s history there,” said Morgan State Director of Athletics Edward Scott.
“We wanted this to be more than just a game series where we play each other and it’s just another game on our schedule,” said Towson Director of Athletics Tim Leonard. “We really wanted to try to create almost like a bowl game experience.”
“My goal (is) that by the time we’re a little bit older the venues that we own won’t hold this game,” said Ambrose. “And that this game gets played at M&T in front of the whole city of Baltimore. And for one day and one day only it’s our city, our football teams, the way it’s supposed to be. It’s out community.”
As for this year, Towson will host Morgan to open the season on September 2. The two teams will alternate home venues for the remainder of the series.
They will also compete for a trophy of some sort. The winning team will hold onto it until the following year’s game. What that trophy is named and what it looks like is still up in the air.