Notre Dame & Navy Will Not Play In Ireland This Year
The pandemic just continues to create havoc in the sports world. Notre Dame vs navy is one of the most storied rivalries in all of college football. The Teams have met 93 times in their history and that is the most times that Notre Dame has played any team in College Football, while this rivalry is 2nd on Navy’s least behind the 116 times they have faced Army.
Notre Dame and Navy were expected to square off in Dublin, Ireland on August 29th to kick off the season for both teams but those plans have now been altered. On Tuesday, Navy put out a statement saying that the game will not take place overseas and that is due to the concerns of COVID-19. The game will now take place at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Maryland, most likely on Labor Day Weekend. This is the first time in the history of the series that the game will be moved from one venue to another and it is also the first time that the teams will square off in Annapolis.
Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium holds just 34,000 fans which is why when Navy has a home game in this series it has been moved to bigger stadiums. They have squared off in Landover, Md. (2014), Jacksonville, Fla. (2016), and San Diego (2018) in recent seasons, plus in the past, the teams have met at the Meadowlands. They have played each other in Ireland twice (1996 & 2010)
This has not been a good series for the Midshipmen as the Irish have gone 77-13-1 against them in the regular season and 2-0 in bowl games. The Irish will enter this year’s contest having won five of the last six against Navy. The Irish won 52-30 last year and 44-22 back in 2018. This has not been a good series for the Midshipmen overall.
Naval Academy Director of Athletics Chet Gladchuk put out a statement:
"We are obviously disappointed not to be traveling to Ireland this August," Gladchuk said. "But, as expected, our priority must be ensuring the health and safety of all involved. I am expecting that we will still be able to play Notre Dame as our season opener, but there is still much to be determined by health officials and those that govern college football at large. Once we have a definitive plan in place, we will announce the specifics pertaining to the game."
"I am extremely grateful to all that were involved in the planning of our game in Aviva Stadium, especially John Anthony and Padraic O'Kane who created what would have been another extraordinary event in Dublin. I realize many are disappointed and were looking forward to the spectacle of this event and a visit to the Emerald Isle, but I do know there is a complete understanding of why it's in our best interests to make every effort to relocate the game," he added.
Notre Dame Atheltic Director, Jack Swarbrick, also put out a statement:
"Our student-athletes have had great experiences competing in Ireland and are very disappointed not to be returning to Dublin in 2020," said Swarbrick. "The change of venue has been a very difficult decision for our colleagues at the Naval Academy, but we are in full support of their choice. We are also grateful for everything our partners in Ireland have done to make this a smooth transition. We look forward to going back to Ireland for a game in the not too distant future."