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An America's Game for All America
More cities should be added the rotation for Army-Navy
It’s been billed as “America’s Game” for years, and finally the Army-Navy Game is going to see more of the country more regularly:
Boston and Gillette Stadium will host the 2023 Army-Navy game, the service academies jointly announced Wednesday as part of a new five-year cycle for “America’s Game” that will feature five cities.
Gillette Stadium, a multi-purpose facility located in Foxborough, Massachusetts, is home to the NFL’s New England Patriots.
It will mark the first time since 1983 the Army-Navy game will be held anywhere other than Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington or East Rutherford, New Jersey.
The next five years will see the game played in those five cities, listed above.
This is a positive development. If Army-Navy is truly to be considered “America’s Game”, the game can’t be confined to just the Baltimore, New York, and Philadelphia areas.
In fact, the game should see even more of the country.
While the academies are located in Annapolis, MD and West Point, NY respectively, most Army and Navy personnel are not stationed anywhere near those locations.
Additionally, if the game really is “America’s Game”, should not the game be more accessible to more Americans without having to travel all the way to the Northeast?
So here’s a modest proposal to rotate the game among a number of cities to get more folks, particularly those in the military community, to get to see the game. While Baltimore, New York, and Philadelphia should remain in the rotation, other cities that should be included with high military populations in the area include:
Los Angeles, CA
Each of these games would be held within two hours of a massive population of soldiers, sailors, or both. Each city has an NFL-capable stadium that has been used extensively for college football. Each city has the infrastructure necessary to raise the money to put the game on.
That’s not to say it would be easy. The last time the game was played outside of the Northeast was in 1983 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. There were problems.
The Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, hosted the 1983 contest and logistical expenses were massive. It cost $3.5 million to fly the nearly 9,000 members of the Brigade of Midshipmen and Corps of Cadets to the West Coast and many wound up stranded afterward.
Rolfe Arnhym, vice president of the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce, resigned as a result of controversy surrounding the game. The Army-Navy ’83 Foundation, which Arnhym helped form, incurred $2.5 million in debt as a result of hosting the game.
They were still trying to raise the money months after the conclusion of the game. I think, given modern times and the massive amount of sponsorship dollars big events rake in, that these costs can be covered in the foreseeable future if the games are awarded years in advance. If contracts were signed to play the game in 2030 and beyond, and cities were given five+ years, the money would end up not being a problem.
It’s America’s Game. As much of America deserves to see it up close as possible. Adding new cities to the rotation is the right thing to do.