Plans concerning the future of Harvard-Dartmouth football are uncertain following the announcement last week that next year's game will be played at the Indians' Memorial Field.
Harvard's Associate Director of Athletics Baron B. Pittenger Jr. said, "I do not know of any plans to invite us up there specifically, but I feel that with the addition of their new seats it's only a matter of time until they ask us up for a game."
Dartmouth increased Memorial Field's seating capacity by about 50 per cent last summer, from 14,000 to approximately 22,000. This is compared to the usual 60,000 fans who attend a Dartmouth-Yale game in the Yale Bowl and the 40,000 spectators who witness the annual Dartmouth game at Harvard Stadium.
For many years because of economic and geographic. reasons. Dartmouth played its annual football games with Harvard, Yale, and Princeton on the opponents fields. However, since 1964, the Dartmouth-Princeton game has been on a home-and-home basis.
Now with an increased seating capacity and consequently higher gate returns for the athletic department, Dartmouth is willing to initiate on a one-shot trial basis, next year's Yale game at Hanover.
Next year will mark the first time, since the series began in 1884, that the game will be played at Dartmouth.
Explaining the change of the game to Hanover, Dartmouth's President John G. Kemeny said, "While very much aware of the financial considerations involved, due to relative seating capacities between Yale and Dartmouth, it has been of concern to us over the years that Yale alumni and students have been denied this chance to see the Dartmouth campus."
He added, "It also seems fairer to our team that they occasionally have an opportunity to play this traditionally big game on home grounds." Considering the possibility of a game with Harvard at Hanover, Dartmouth's Director of Athletics Seaver Peters said, "We've only talked in a very preliminary way."
However, Dartmouth does have the option with Harvard, by the terms of a contract signed in 1960, to invite the Crimson to play at Hanover on the even-numbered years. Referring to the contract, Peters said, "I know this sounds quite blunt, but, if we could have asked Harvard to come here last year for this fall, they would have had no choice."
The last time Harvard played at Dartmouth was in 1955, the first season for Dartmouth coach Bob Blackman. Harvard, directed by Lloyd Jordan, was heavily favored, but Dartmouth emerged with Blackman's first victory, 14-9.
Thirteen winning and one losing season later, Blackman gained his 100th victory for Dartmouth in Cambridge.