The Army/Navy football game is staying where it belongs -- right here in Philly.
Philadelphia won the bidding for five of eight (2010, 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2017) upcoming Army-Navy Games between the U.S. Naval Academy and U.S. Military Academy. Lincoln Financial Field was already set to host the 2009 game.
The game will generate about $175 million over five years, according to the city.
The announcement ends a nine-month bidding war between a handful of cities to play host for the games.
“We are thrilled to know that this American Classic will remain a Philadelphia fixture for years to come. This game is part of the very fabric of Philadelphia, and we were determined to make sure that it stayed right here where it belongs,” Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell said.
Various industries and organizations including City of Philadelphia, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Eagles, Philadelphia Sports Congress (a division of the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau) and the Army/Navy Host Committee teamed up to ensure that the annual game would stay in Philadelphia.
“We are delighted that Philadelphia will remain the home of the Army/Navy Game. This is a tremendous event for us for so many reasons, including the national exposure it brings, the chance for us to honor the men and women of our military each year, and the economic impact it generates for our entire region,” said Mayor Nutter.
According to an Econsult Corporation report in 2006, the event brings in $35M in total economic impact and more than 17,000 hotel room nights for the Philadelphia region annually. These numbers are based primarily on the estimated 50,000 visitors that the event attracts.
Philadelphia has hosted 81 of the 109 games played in the rivalry since it began in 1890. Robert Tuchman ranked the event number five in his book “The 100 Sporting Events You Must See Live.” It was ranked only behind the Masters, World Cup, Super Bowl and Summer Olympics.
Both academies were happy that the game was coming back to the city where they have played for so many years.
“The entire operation that revolves around the Army/Navy Game in Philadelphia is nothing short of first rate… the Philadelphia community proved once again why they have earned the distinction as the 'Home of the Army/Navy Game',” Naval Academy Director of Athletics Chet Gladchuk said.
“We couldn't be more pleased that six of the next nine Army/Navy Games will be held in Philadelphia, a place that feels like home for our fans, graduates and the Corps of Cadets,” said Military Academy Director of Athletics Kevin Anderson.
Baltimore will host the game in 2014 and 2016 and Washington D.C. will host in 2011.