There are those who hold the annual Army-Navy game dear and think it is a throwback to different times when college players performed for the love of the game. But it is business as the United States Military Academy and the United States Naval Academy have a for sale up with the Army-Navy football game available to the highest bidder beginning in 2018.
This year’s contest was played in Baltimore and next year’s game will go back to Philadelphia. Last Saturday’s matchup was the 117th meeting of the two service academies with Philadelphia hosting 86 games and that makes sense since Philadelphia is nearly half way between the two schools.
Baltimore has had the game 10 times. The game was split between West Point, New York and Annapolis, Maryland in the first four meetings in the 1890s. Though mostly an eastern seaboard affair, the game has been played in Pasadena, California once.
Baltimore, Seattle, San Diego, Arlington, Texas, Houston, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, East Rutherford, New Jersey, Foxboro, Massachusetts and Dan Snyder’s NFL Maryland stadium outside of Washington are on the list, although San Diego does not have an NFL state of the art stadium and won’t when all the bids are reviewed and the 2018 game and games that will take place afterwards are handed out.
The service academies are looking at stadiums that hold at least 70,000 people. There was a report in the Baltimore Business Journal that studies have concluded the game generates $30 million worth of economic impact in the host city. However, there is no concrete evidence that this one day sporting event brings in that much cash.
Army-Navy is not a must-see contest. Cities will make their multimillion dollar bids because elected officials feel there is something to gain getting the Army-Navy football game. And the players will not get paid despite all the money around.
By Evan Weiner For The Politics Of Sports Business
This article was republished with permission from the original publisher, Evan Weiner.