The annual Army-Navy Game, one of America’s most iconic sporting events, will be moved to West Point this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Dec. 12 game is being moved from Philadelphia — the game’s traditional home — because of attendance limits placed on outdoor events held in Pennsylvania. The COVID-19 regulation would not allow the entire Corp of Cadets from West Point and Brigade of Midshipmen from Annapolis to attend, officials said.
“The health and welfare of the Corps of Cadets and Brigade of Midshipmen is the number one priority,” said Lt. Gen. Darryl A. Williams, Superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy. “Hosting the Army-Navy Game on West Point will be the safest way for the cadets and midshipmen to experience the game.”
As the designated home team in 2020, West Point will host the 121st Army-Navy game at Michie Stadium, officials said.
“We are excited about this historic opportunity to host Navy and the Brigade inside the gates of West Point for the first time since 1943,” said Mike Buddie, West Point’s director of athletics.
The country was in the midst of World War II the last time the Army-Navy games were played at either service academy. Annapolis hosted the 1942 game and West Point hosted it the next year.
“Unfortunately, we will not be allowed to visit the home of Army-Navy this December,” said Chet Gladchuk, director of athletics at Navy. “Every effort was made to create a safe and acceptable environment for the Brigade, the Corps and our public while meeting city and state requirements.”
It’s unlikely fans will be allowed to attend the game at Michie Stadium — other than the cadets and midshipmen. CBS will televise the game, West Point officials said.
“Medical conditions and protocols dictate the environment in which we live,” Gladchuk said.
Navy leads the series with 61 wins to Army’s 52.
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