As expected, the pandemic will impact this year’s matchup between Notre Dame and Navy.
Notre Dame and Navy are scheduled to open the 2020 season Aug. 29 in Dublin, Ireland. While there were talks about moving the game, Navy’s athletic director was confident the game would still be played as scheduled. And where scheduled. In late April, though, it was confirmed that, even if the game could be played in Dublin, it would likely be fan-less.
Tuesday morning, the inevitable occurred as it was announced the matchup between Notre Dame and Navy will not be played in Dublin. Instead, it will take place in Annapolis at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.
This will mark the first-ever time the rivalry game has been played at the home of the Midshipmen.
“We are obviously disappointed not to be traveling to Ireland this August,” the Navy AD, Chet Gladchuk, said in a statement. “But, as expected, our priority must be ensuring the health and safety of all involved. I am expecting that we will still be able to play Notre Dame as our season opener, but there is still much to be determined by health officials and those that govern college football at large. Once we have a definitive plan in place, we will announce the specifics pertaining to the game. I am extremely grateful to all that were involved in the planning of our game in Aviva Stadium, especially John Anthony and Padraic O’Kane who created what would have been another extraordinary event in Dublin. I realize many are disappointed and were looking forward to the spectacle of this event and a visit to the Emerald Isle, but I do know there is a complete understanding of why it’s in our best interests to make every effort to relocate the game.”
“Our student-athletes have had great experiences competing in Ireland and are very disappointed not to be returning to Dublin in 2020,” said Gladchuk’s counterpart with the Fighting Irish, Jack Swarbrick, in his statement. “The change of venue has been a very difficult decision for our colleagues at the Naval Academy, but we are in full support of their choice. We are also grateful for everything our partners in Ireland have done to make this a smooth transition. We look forward to going back to Ireland for a game in the not too distant future.”
In addition to the venue change, the date will be changed as well. While not yet determined, it will be played Labor Day weekend on either that Saturday (Sept. 5) or Sunday (Sept. 6).
This year’s game will mark the 94th-consecutive meeting between the programs, making it the longest-continuous-intersectional rivalry in the country.