Notre Dame and Navy were scheduled to meet in Week 0 in Dublin, Ireland, to kick off the 2020 college football season. That will no longer be the case due to the global coronavirus pandemic. The schools announced Tuesday that the game, which was scheduled to take place on Aug. 29 at Aviva Stadium, will be moved to Annapolis, Maryland at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.
In addition to the venue change, the game will likely be played in Week 1 on Saturday, Sept. 5 or Sunday, Sept. 6.
"Our student-athletes have had great experiences competing in Ireland and are very disappointed not to be returning to Dublin in 2020," said Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick. "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."
The game would have been the third time that the two rivals have squared off in Ireland. The Fighting Irish topped the Midshipmen 50-10 to open the 2012 season and previously 54-26 on Nov. 2, 1996. This will be the first time the programs will play in Annapolis and first time they will play in Maryland since 2014.
"We are obviously disappointed not to be traveling to Ireland this August," said Navy athletic director Chet Gladchuk. "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."
Notre Dame holds at 77-13-1 series lead over Navy. The rivalry has never been interrupted since the two began meeting on the gridiron in 1927.
"College football is one of the greatest spectacles in world sport and we had been thoroughly looking forward to welcoming Navy and Notre Dame here this summer for the first game of the Aer Lingus College Football Classic Series," said Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar. "Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond our control, that is now not possible, but we hope to see both universities return to Aviva Stadium in the coming years. I want to personally thank both Chet Gladchuk and Jack Swarbrick for their efforts to bring the game to Ireland and we hope to welcome both teams back in the near future"
Notre Dame announced that the game will still be televised nationally with an announcement on the network coming at a later date.