Army vs. Navy Game: Orlando aiming to serve as host city for annual college football rivalry
The battle between the Black Knights and Midshipmen has never been played south of Maryland
The annual meeting between Army and Navy is one of college football's finest traditions, and while the game has mid-Atlantic and northeastern roots with the two academies, there is hope that "America's Game" will make its way down the coast for a more tropical location in the future.
Florida Citrus Sports, the organization responsible for hosting the Camping World Kickoff Classic, the Camping World Bowl and the Citrus Bowl in Orlando, has been aggressive in securing high-profile neutral-site matchups since the completion of the renovations to Camping World Stadium in 2015. Florida Citrus Sports CEO Steve Hogan said earlier this month that the group hopes to be included in the next round of bidding when the two schools look to secure its host sites for 2023-28.
"When you think of events, I love that Orlando can have the opportunity to be a part of something that's special," Hogan told the Orlando Sentinel this month. "The Army-Navy game would be an experience for people in Central Florida and the people who have traditionally attended the game in Philadelphia or Baltimore."
According to Hogan, Orlando was one of the cities included in the last bidding window for Army-Navy but scheduling conflicts prevented their ability to contend for the game. The Orlando area is already a hotbed for football during the month of December, not to mention the tourism advantages of planning a weekend getaway in Florida as opposed to somewhere further north.
"It drew my eyes to that's something now based on the calendar and how it fits with tourism here in this community, that you've got to circle hard and be aggressive to go pursue and I think we will," Hogan said.
In total, there have been 17 different venues in six different states that have hosted the Army-Navy game throughout its history, but the game has never made its way to the southeastern United States. They've played in Chicago's Soldier Field and even in California at the Rose Bowl, but on the east coast, the most-southern location has been Landover, Maryland.
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