The Army-Navy Game is one of our country’s greatest traditions and Philadelphia has been incredibly proud to host America’s Game 89 times, by far the most of any U.S. destination. Due to the circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s game will now be played at the U.S. Military Academy, the designated home team for the 2020 matchup.
This will allow the teams to still play and minimize travel and exposure for the athletes, coaches, and students. We wish both teams the best of luck in this storied rivalry and look forward to welcoming the Army-Navy Game back home to Philadelphia in 2022. You may read more about the 2020 game update and new location here.
A Look Back at Last Year’s Top Highlights
Philadelphia is proud to have hosted the Army-Navy Game 89 times in its storied 121-year history. The event brings thousands of active duty military, veterans, and their families to the city and offers exciting experiences all weekend long, many of which are free and open to the public.
While the 2020 game will take place at the U.S. Military Academy, here are a few of the top highlights that this event brings to Philadelphia:
What to Expect on Game Day
- 11:00 a.m. – Stadium gates open for Pre-Game Entertainment
- 12:55 p.m. – The March-On
- 3:00 p.m. – National Anthem, Flyover & Kick-Off
More 2019 Game Day Details
ESPN’s College Gameday gets things started early in the morning in the parking lot beside Xfinity Live!, broadcasting live right up until kickoff. Those looking to stay warm before the game should purchase tickets to the Army-Navy Tailgate inside Citizens Bank Park’s beautiful Hall of Fame Club. Tailgaters can enjoy two hours of all-you-can-eat-and-drink food and beverages await, along with family activities such as face painting.
Find more pre-game fun at Head House Plaza from 11:00 a.m. until kickoff, including interactive displays and the CBS Sports Network pre-game show. Due to enhanced security requirements, ticket holders are encouraged to enter the stadium early to ensure they don’t miss any of the experiences (stadium gates open at 11:00 a.m.).
The “March On” Before Kickoff
Not to be missed, the time-honored “March On” features the Brigade of Midshipmen and Corps of Cadets marching into Lincoln Financial Field ahead of kickoff (11:55 a.m. – 12:55 p.m.).
National Anthem & Flyover at 3:00 p.m.
At 3:00 p.m., following a stirring National Anthem, parachute drops into the stadium, and an unforgettable flyover, the Army-Navy Game officially kicks off for the 121st time. No matter the outcome, both academies honor one another after the game by singing the opposing team’s alma mater to the respective fans – a sign of mutual respect and an ultimate display of sportsmanship.
TIP: Don’t have a ticket to the game but still want to watch among local fans? Head to one of the city’s top sports bars.
Army-Navy Game Fun All Weekend Long
Patriot Games on Friday & Saturday
The competition between Army and Navy really begins on Friday and Saturday during the Patriot Games. All weekend long, Cadets and Midshipmen square off in physical and mental challenges, stopping at key landmarks and attractions throughout the city. The team with the most points after the five events wins ultimate bragging rights and a trophy that’s presented on the field during the Army-Navy Game. All Patriot Games are open to the public and free to attend, except for Saturday’s final ticket-holder-only event.
Rocky Relay & Leadership Reaction Course
The Patriot Games begin with the Rocky Relay at the famous Philadelphia Museum of Art (8:30 a.m.), testing participants’ strength and speed. The games continue in the morning with a Leadership Reaction Course at the National Constitution Center lawn (10:00 a.m.).
Pull-up Challenge & Pep Rally
At noon, both Army and Navy fans pack the rotunda at the Shops at Liberty Place for a Pull-Up Challenge and the official Army-Navy Pep Rally, complete with mascots, cheerleaders, and pep bands.
The final challenge on Friday takes the Cadets and Midshipmen to Camden, New Jersey for an epic Tug-of-War beside the historic Battleship USS New Jersey (3:00 p.m.).
TIP: After the pep rally, head to the nearby One Liberty Observation Deck to save $3 on admission with your Army-Navy Game ticket.
Stadium Obstacle Relay
The games come to a thrilling end on Saturday with the Stadium Obstacle Relay (1:15 p.m.) inside Lincoln Financial Field (game ticket required to view).
2019 Army-Navy Game Travel Deals
To welcome visitors to the city, many local businesses offer discounts and savings. Whether it’s discounted cheesesteaks at Campo’s, drink deals at Field House, shopping savings at the Fashion District, or a custom fun run throughout the city with SeePhillyRun, Army-Navy attendees are sure to find several deals while in town. For a full, up-to-date list of deals, click here.
TIP: Don’t miss the oldest continually operating pub in the city, McGillin’s Old Ale House, which offers Army-Navy-themed drink specials all weekend long.
Getting Around Philadelphia on Army-Navy Game Weekend
Philadelphia’s downtown is incredibly walkable, allowing visitors to explore between parks, restaurants, museums, and more with ease. There are several itineraries to help guide your way through the city, including By-The-Book, Unexpected, and Family-Friendly options. There are also an abundance of holiday attractions to explore.
Getting to Lincoln Financial Field
To get to Lincoln Financial Field, take SEPTA’s Broad Street line, which runs through the heart of Philadelphia, ultimately dropping fans at the stadium parking lot.
One-way fare on the Broad Street line is $2.50 and can be purchased with exact change at the cashier. Quick Trip tickets ($2.50 value) and reloadable SEPTA Key Cards are also available at terminals in each station. For more information, visit iseptaphilly.com.
For more transportation information, including parking at lots around Lincoln Financial Field, please click here.
Why Is The Army-Navy Game Played in Philadelphia?
This matchup has been played in Philadelphia for 89 years because it is a neutral location conveniently equidistant from U.S. Military Academy in West Point, New York and the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.
Cover photo by A. Sinagoga for PHLCVB