Philadelphia officials celebrated the announcement that the city will remain the home of the Army/Navy Game through 2017. The announcement was made by the U.S. Naval Academy and U.S. Military Academy, concluding a 9-month bid process which generated significant competition among several cities vying for future games.
"This is a huge win for the City of Philadelphia," said Eagles president Joe Banner. "It was truly rewarding to watch so many local entities come together in partnership to continue what has become an important tradition here in Philadelphia. We are proud to host the event at Lincoln Financial Field and will continue to uphold a superior level of service that all Philadelphians can be proud of."
Philadelphia was awarded the event for 2010, 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2017 (the 2009 Game is also being played in Philadelphia). A collaboration of regional partners helped to ensure Philadelphia's continued role as host to Army/Navy, including the 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.
"We are thrilled to know that this American Classic will remain a Philadelphia fixture for years to come," said Pennsylvania Governor Edward G. Rendell. "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."
"We are delighted that Philadelphia will remain the home of the Army/Navy Game," said Mayor Michael A. Nutter. "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."
"The entire operation that revolves around the Army/Navy Game in Philadelphia is nothing short of first rate," said Naval Academy Director of Athletics Chet Gladchuk. "Throughout the bid process, the Philadelphia community proved once again why they have earned the distinction as the 'Home of the Army-Navy Game'. Everyone at Navy is genuinely appreciative of the great effort and proven results that has become the benchmark for this prestigious event in Philadelphia."
"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. "Throughout the selection process, the city's leadership stepped forward and affirmed its affinity for the event. The Army-Navy Game is synonymous with Philadelphia, and we're excited to continue that legacy with today's announcement."
The event generates $35M in total economic impact and more than 17,000 hotel room nights for the Philadelphia region annually (Econsult Corporation, 2006), based primarily on the estimated 50,000 visitors it attracts. It is considered one of the regional hospitality community's largest annual weekends.
Philadelphia has hosted 81 of the 109 games played in the rivalry since it began in 1890, including 67 of the last 77 games played. The event was recently ranked fifth among "Best Sporting Events to See Live," behind only the Masters, World Cup, Super Bowl and Summer Olympics, according to a new book "The 100 Sporting Events You Must See Live" (Robert Tuchman, BenBella Books, 2009).
In August 2008, the service academies distributed a formal Request for Proposal (RFP) to cities around the nation to bid on future games. Official bids were submitted in the fall, with finalist cities hosting site visits in early 2009. Negotiations have been ongoing since that time.
"This bid was a collaboration between all of our great partners from the City, State, Eagles and our Host Committee," said Larry Needle, executive director, Philadelphia Sports Congress. "Army/Navy is truly Philadelphia's 'Bowl Game', and will remain that way for years to come."
"Army/Navy weekend has a huge impact on Philadelphia hotels and restaurants every December, during a traditionally slow time of year," said Ed Grose, executive director of the Greater Philadelphia Hotel Association. "Our members are thrilled with the news."
The Army/Navy Host Committee is co-chaired by Tom Lynch (USNA '64) and Ron Naples (USMA '67). The 2009 Army/Navy Game will be held on December 12th at Lincoln Financial Field. Navy leads the lifetime series 53-49-7. For more information, go to www.phillylovesarmynavy.com.