Patriots’ Gillette Stadium to host 2023 Army-Navy Game originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
Gillette Stadium has won the 2023 bid to host one of college football’s most legendary rivalries: Army versus Navy.
Patriots owner Robert Kraft confirmed Wednesday that New England’s home stadium will host the 2023 Army-Navy Game.
“In New England, we value history, honor tradition, and celebrate sports rivalries,” Kraft said in a statement. “That’s why we are so thrilled for the opportunity to host America’s Game at Gillette Stadium on Saturday, Dec. 9, 2023.
“There is no greater, more historical sports rivalry than the Army Navy Game. It’s a nationally-televised, signature game that we have all grown up watching. It will be our privilege and honor to welcome the Army and Navy teams, their families and families all the patriots who annually attend the game.”
NBC10’s Joe Kayata was the first to report that Gillette Stadium would host the game.
The Army-Navy rivalry dates back to 1890. The Army Black Knights and Navy Midshipmen have competed against each other every year since 1930 and have met a total of 122 times. In the 132-year rivalry, Navy leads the all-time series 65-63-7.
New England won the bid over six other finalists, including Charlotte, North Carolina; Orlando, Florida; Washington, DC; Baltimore, Maryland; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and New Jersey. It will be the first time the Army-Navy Game will be played in New England.
This was the third time The Kraft Sports and Entertainment Group entered a bid for the Army-Navy Game. This time, Kraft Sports put in a multi-year bid for 2023-2027.
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The Patriots have strong connections to the Naval Academy. The New England Patriots’ long snapper Joe Cardona graduated the Naval Academy in 2015 and currently serves as a Lieutenant in the Naval Reserve.
Bill Belichick has ties to the Naval Academy through his father, Steve, who was an assistant coach at Navy for over 30 years. As a proud Annapolitan, Bill Belichick received the keys to the city of Annapolis and was honored at the halftime of the Army-Navy lacrosse game in 2021.
“When your dad coaches at Navy, that’s a huge part of your life,” Belichick said in a morning news conference in 2018. “That game’s a huge part of everybody’s life at those two academics, and it extends well beyond that. You know in May how many days are left until you play Army.”
With the Army-Navy Game in Foxboro, the Rhode Island Convention Center in Providence is expected to act as the home base for over 4,000 Midshipmen traveling from Annapolis for the Game. Army will drive up from West Point the day of the game. Game events will be headquartered in Boston.