Patriotic Play: Patriots Home to Host 2023 Army-Navy Game

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FOXBORO — One of college football’s most storied rivalries is coming to Massachusetts next year. According to a report from Providencethe New England Patriots’ Gillette Stadium will host the annual Army-Navy game on December 9, 2023.

The organization of the game between the two armed forces further establishes the Patriots as a strong supporter of the United States military.

A tradition since 1890, the game will mark the 124th meeting between the Army and Navy. New England secured the hosting rights after the winning bid was submitted by a group led by Patriots owner and team president Robert Kraft. This will be the first meeting between the two service academies in the New England region, which has already been hosted by 18 different stadiums in six states.

For the December 2023 game, Kraft’s group would have passed six competing cities.

For Patriots coach Bill Belichick, the Army-Navy game has deep meaning. Belichick has had strong ties to the academy, as well as surrounding areas, having grown up close to the school’s campus. His father, Steve, was an assistant coach and scout at the Naval Academy for over 30 years, retiring in 1989.

Back in 2018, Belichick was asked about the storied rivalry and shared his thoughts on the story behind it.

“When your dad is a Navy trainer, that’s a big part of your life,” Belichick said. “This game is a big part of everyone’s life at both of these academies, and it extends way beyond that. You know in May how many days you have left until you play Army. It’s a great week there- down with just the spirit of the week. The cheer rally on Thursday night, the team sending off on Friday and then the comeback and the victory bell on Sunday after their victory. And honestly, that set the tone for everything the rest of the year. When you live in that world, that’s the world you live in. I don’t mean it’s a one-game season, but in some ways, it really is the case.

In addition to Belichick’s ties, the Patriots also have ties to the Naval Academy. Long snapper Joe Cardona and wide receiver Malcolm Perry both spent their college careers in the Navy. The Pats currently have no one on the roster who has played with Army.

As Foxboro prepares to host the game next year, the 2022 contest will be played at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on December 10. Navy leads the series, 62-53-7.

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