For $600, college football fans now can enjoy a main course of prime rib with a side dish of college sports history.

This year's Heisman Trophy dinner will be open to the public for the first time in the 68 years the Downtown Athletic Club has honored the nation's top college football player.

The $600-a-plate dinner will be held at the New York Hilton hotel on Dec. 15, two days after the Heisman winner is announced at the Yale Club in Manhattan.

After being served hors d'oeuvres, prime rib, potatoes and chocolate cake with raspberry sauce, ticket buyers can get their pictures taken with former Heisman winners and the famous bronze trophy, which depicts a ballcarrier in a stiff-arm pose.

"There are a lot of college football fans who have never been able to get in," said Downtown Athletic Club President Jim Corcoran, a senior vice president at Morgan Stanley in New York. "I knew that if they had a chance to come in and see the Heisman winner get the award, they'd love to do it."

With seating for 1,500 people, the dinner would raise $900,000 if all the tickets are sold. Corcoran said most of the money will go to the Heisman Foundation, which supports local charities. The rest will go to the club's general fund to cover the cost of staging the event, he said. Tickets went on sale this week.

-- From Wire Services