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Brick City HBCU Kickoff Classic at Red Bull Arena Sat. Sept. 2, 2023

Aug 31, 2023
Hampton Pirates v Grambling State Tigers Football

The Hampton Pirates and the Grambling State Tigers are set to face off in an exciting football game on Saturday, September 2, 2023, at 3 p.m. The match will take place at the Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey, as part of the inaugural Brick City HBCU Kickoff Classic. This event is more than just a game; it's a celebration of the culture and excellence of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

The Brick City HBCU Kickoff Classic aims to increase awareness of HBCUs and have a direct impact on the City of Newark through scholarships, strengthened partnerships, and local economic development. The event is hosted by the City of Newark and KBS Sports Strategies with sponsors including Prudential, I Heart Media, Wells Fargo, 23 and Me, Smirnoff Lemonades, and the Greater Newark Convention Visitor Bureau. This game renews a popular rivalry between the two teams.

According to the Hampton Pirates website, the Hampton Pirates and the Grambling State Tigers have faced each other seven other times with an average attendance of 46,000 fans.  It is not clear whether all the fans are heading to New Jersey to attend the game but if half of the fans make the trip they might fill the stadium and make another attendance record at the Red Bull Arena on the heels of last Saturday’s game of Inter Miami FC versus Red Bulls game with Lionel Messi effect bringing a record crowd over over 26,000 fans in a stadium that only has 25,000 seats.

Hampton Pirates

Background and Location

  • University: Hampton University
  • Location: Hampton, Virginia
  • Conference: Colonial Athletic Association (CAA)
  • Head Coach: Robert Prunty

Hampton University is a prestigious HBCU located in Hampton, Virginia. The Pirates belong to the Colonial Athletic Association and have a rich history in football. Hampton University President Darrell K. Williams expressed excitement about participating in the inaugural Brick City Classic and facing another legendary HBCU program, Grambling State University.

Hampton University is looking to have a breakout year in 2023. The team is coached by Robert Prunty, who is optimistic about the matchup against Grambling State.

Grambling State Tigers

Background and Location

  • University: Grambling State University
  • Location: Grambling, Louisiana
  • Conference: Southwest Athletic Conference (SWAC)
  • Head Coach: Hue Jackson

Grambling State University is another renowned HBCU, located in Grambling, Louisiana. The Tigers are part of the Southwest Athletic Conference. Grambling State University Athletic Director, Dr. Trayvean Scott, is excited about the opportunity to compete against Hampton University in the inaugural Brick City Classic.

Like Hampton, Grambling State is also looking to have a strong year in 2023 under the guidance of Head Coach Hue Jackson.

The League

Both teams belong to different conferences within the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS). Hampton Pirates are part of the Colonial Athletic Association, while Grambling State Tigers belong to the Southwest Athletic Conference (SAC).

The Hampton Pirates vs. Grambling State Tigers game promises to be a thrilling event, filled with competitive spirit, cultural celebration, and community impact. The game is not just a showcase of athletic talent but also a platform that empowers students from both colleges and promotes their career development. So mark your calendars for Saturday, September 2, 2023, and get ready for a football game that promises to be about much more than just the final score. According to promotion materials, tailgating starts at 9 a.m. with the Red Bull Arena opening at 1:30 p.m.

Tickets are available at Ticketmaster. It does appear that most of the tickets for the game are already sold as of Thursday and since the game is being held earlier in the afternoon there may be a major disruption of resident accessing their residents.  There has been no Harrison Police Traffic Bulletin issued at the time of the publication of this article. Gray in the above seating chart for the game indicates sold tickets.

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