Army-Navy Moved to West Point Due to COVID-19; 1st On-Campus Matchup Since 1943

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistOctober 23, 2020

Navy midshipmen and players celebrate after defeating Army 31-7 in an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Dec. 14, 2019, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Matt Rourke/Associated Press

The traditional Army-Navy game, which was scheduled to be held at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia this year, will reportedly take place on Army's campus in West Point, New York, because of COVID-19 restrictions.

Chris Vannini of The Athletic reported the news Friday, noting the game was moved because of "attendance limits placed on outdoor events in the state of Pennsylvania that would not allow the entire Corps of Cadets and Brigade of Midshipmen to attend." 

It will mark the first time the game takes place on campus since 1943.

This year's matchup is the 121st in the famed rivalry, and it will take place at Army's Michie Stadium because the Black Knights were the designated home team in 2020.

"We want to thank the City of Philadelphia, the Eagles and all involved in the planning for their efforts to navigate this historic game in the current COVID-19 climate," Army athletic director Mike Buddie said in a statement. "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."

The statement also explained the Corps of Cadets and Brigade of Midshipmen will likely be the only fans in attendance for the Dec. 12 showdown.

Bill Wagner of the Capital Gazette noted Pennsylvania restrictions limit capacity inside Lincoln Financial Field to less than 10,000, which is not enough to accommodate those who will be allowed to attend.

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The two schools rotated hosting duties during the first four games of the series in 1890-93 before Navy hosted in 1942 and Army hosted in 1943 during World War II.

According to Wagner, Navy enjoys a 61-52-7 lead in the all-time series and has won 15 of the last 18 meetings.

The Midshipmen won last year's game 31-7 behind 304 rushing yards from running back Malcolm Perry, who now plays for the Miami Dolphins.