The Yankees weren't playing, the field was blanketed by a layer of snow and the teams involved played football rather than baseball.

Still, Yankee Stadium, which hosted the New Era Pinstripe Bowl on Dec. 29, was under the spotlight. The college football bowl game, in which Syracuse defeated West Virginia, 38-14, received its highest viewer rating, recording a 56 percent increase over its 2011 totals, according to numbers released by ESPN.

Syracuse also won the Pinstripe Bowl in 2010, the bowl game's inaugural year. That December, the contest merited a 2.6 household coverage rating. That figure dipped to 2.5 last year before rising to 3.9 for last week's affair.

For bowls played before New Year's Day, only Monday's Chick-fil-A Bowl (5.6) and the Alamo Bowl (4.8) drew higher ratings.

The New Era Pinstripe Bowl's 56 percent ratings increase was the second-largest jump of any ESPN-televised bowl game played prior to New Year's Day.