Philly loses control of Army-Navy Game. After this year, the city won’t host again until 2027

Army cadets salute before an NCAA college football game against Navy, Saturday, Dec. 14, 2019, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Army cadets salute before an NCAA college football game against Navy, Saturday, Dec. 14, 2019, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

It’s a Philly tradition that’s going away for some time.

The annual December matchup between the Army and Navy won’t be immediately connected to Philadelphia. The service academies will take their contest on the road, visiting multiple East Coast cities over the next several years.

After hosting the game this year, Philadelphia won’t see the contest again until 2027. The city has hosted 89 of 122 contests, according to Larry Needle of the Philadelphia Sports Congress, which is the group tasked with bringing the game to Philadelphia.

 

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The game moves to Boston / Foxborough in 2023, followed by Washington, DC / Landover, Md. in 2024. The 2025 game will be held in Baltimore, and New York City / East Rutherford, N.J. will host the 2026 game.

Needle said the organizers just decided to go in a different direction. “I do think more and more they had other cities approaching them aggressively about hosting the game and in the end they softened to that idea of moving it around,” he said.

The contest generates between $30 to $35 million a year in revenue for the city, according to Needle. Because it’s played in early December, it won’t be easy to replace. “It’s a reality of the incredibly competitive marketplace for business and events that we see and we’re dealing with as a convention bureau and sports commission everyday.”

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Philadelphia will host the game this year and in 2027, but will not have the game in 2026, when the city has been lobbying hard for the all-star games of major sports franchises. That year marks the U.S. Semiquincentennial, when the group Philadelphia 250 is planning a massive celebration of the 250th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence of the Thirteen Colonies.

Major League Baseball has already committed to holding its 2026 All-Star Game in Philadelphia. Former Philadelphia Mayor and Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell said the city wants to host the Super Bowl in 2026, and there has been talk of the NBA bringing its all-star game to the city that year also.

Thursday afternoon, FIFA will announce the host for the 2026 World Cup. Philadelphia is in the running for that as well.

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