Reader Matt sent an email regarding Notre Dame's annual Thanksgiving trips to California (rotating between Stanford and USC). I had also been thinking about BC's Thanksgiving games. While we won't copy the Irish's west coast swings, I do think the Irish are on to something. I don't think BC should ever play home games Thanksgiving weekend.
The biggest problem with Thanksgiving weekend is that most students are gone. I know campus is still open and they are welcome to return, but changing flights or rides is always easier said than done. This is a problem every school faces, but for state schools, the majority of the student population is still close. BC -- like Notre Dame -- has students from everywhere. Even if the school made an effort to get students back early for Thanksgiving, it is just not going to happen. To a lesser extent, the holiday also keeps some of our fans from outside Boston from making the trip back. They are shopping or traveling or with family.
We've played away games on Thanksgiving night, but I don't think we can ever host one on Thanksgiving Day. Part of it would be competing with the local high school game rivalries and the inevitable challenge from our Newton neighbors. But even a unique game on Thanksgiving or the occasional Black Friday game doesn't gain much for BC. We have our best attendance on Saturdays. When things are outside the norm, our non-local fans again become an issue.
The ACC rivalry with Syracuse is now locked in stone. We will finish our season with the Orange every year, with games rotating between Syracuse and Chestnut Hill. This is our best hope of overcoming the Thanksgiving challenge. If this becomes a heated rivalry, maybe, just maybe, students, non-local fans and even some bandwagon fans will want to get back for the game. Until then just be glad when we finish the season in Syracuse. It is just one less game where our stadium looks empty on TV.