Army-Navy Weekend hits Philadelphia this weekend, which means tens of thousands of Midshipmen and Cadets are about to descend on our fair city for one of the nation’s most iconic sporting events — the 114th annual Army-Navy game — and all the parties that go along with it. The game returns to Lincoln Financial Field on Saturday, December 14, marking the 85th time the game has been played in Philadelphia.
For more than a century, the Army Black Knights from West Point U.S. Military Academy have faced the Navy Midshipmen from the U.S. Naval Academy, and since 1899 Philadelphia has most often been the neutral locale for the epic Army-Navy rivalry.
While the showdown is always an intense matchup, this year’s game has even more riding on it than usual. For the first time since 2005, the Commander-in-Chief’s trophy — given to the winner of the round robin played out among the nation’s service academies — will be awarded to the team that wins the Army/Navy bout.
Kickoff is scheduled for 3 p.m., but the gates open at 11 a.m. and fans are strongly encouraged to arrive early (did someone say tailgate?).
Tickets and game-day packages are limited (so move quickly) and are available at online. Currently, standing room tickets are available for around $55.
In addition to the main event, there’s plenty of fan fun scheduled across the city leading up to kickoff (see below).
Army-Navy Weekend Highlights:
• Patriot Games: December 13-14, various locations throughout Philadelphia. On Friday and Saturday, teams of Cadets and Midshipmen get the competition started with Patriot Games, a two-day competition between Army and Navy. Check out the Rocky Relay on Friday at 8:30 a.m. on the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the mental and physical obstacle course on Friday at 10 a.m. at the Independence Visitor Center and much more.
• Navy Yard Patrol Ship Tours: December 13-14. Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing, Columbus Boulevard between Market and Walnut streets. On Friday and Saturday, two Yard Patrol Boats from the Naval Academy will be visiting Penn’s Landing to support their crews in the Army-Navy game. Though the ships regularly visit Philadelphia, this is a rare opportunity to board the vessels and tour the ships. Arrive for tours between 9:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. on Friday, 10 a.m. to noon or 3 to 5 p.m. on Saturday.
• Army-Navy Pep Rally: Friday, December 13, noon. The Shops at Liberty Place, 16th and Chestnut streets. On Friday, Liberty Place invites fans to join cheerleaders and pep bands to get fired up for the big game.
• Army-Navy Pregame Tailgate: From noon to 2 p.m. on gameday, join fellow fans for a special all-you-can-eat VIP tailgate at Citizens Bank Park’s Hall of Fame Club, complete with music and face-painting. Tickets for the Army-Navy Pregame Tailgate are required for entry.
• 2013 NCAA Men’s College Cup: December 13-15. PPL Park, 1 Stadium Drive, Chester. Four of the top Divsion I Men’s Soccer teams in the country arrive at PPL Park to compete for a national championship. Fan events run throughout the three-day tournament, and tickets to the games are available online, starting at $23.
The Army-Navy game will be televised nationally by CBS and carried worldwide by Westwood One and Armed Forces Radio. Locally, the game will be broadcast live on CBS-3 TV and 97.5 The Fanatic.
2013 Army-Navy Game
When: Saturday, December 14, gates, 11 a.m.; kick-off, 3 p.m.
Where: Lincoln Financial Field, 1 Lincoln Financial Field Way
Cost: Tickets are limited and begin at $55 for standing room
More info: www.armynavygame.com or www.phillylovesarmynavy.com