Navy, Notre Dame may play '93 game in Philadelphia

September 16, 1992|By Doug Brown | Doug Brown,Staff Writer

Navy is negotiating to play its 1993 football game against Notre Dame at Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia.

Originally scheduled to be played in Dublin, Ireland, the game would mark Notre Dame's first football appearance in Philadelphia since 1974 -- Ara Parseghian's final year as coach -- when the Irish beat Navy, 14-6.

"Negotiations are in the final stages," said Mike Bobinski, Navy's associate athletic director for business affairs. "We're confident we'll get it done. We're moving toward it; we're close."

Negotiations to play in Ireland "fell through," Bobinski said, "because the financing wasn't there." That is, the promoter couldn't guarantee the hefty receipts that both teams depend on from the game. The game is invariably a big draw, despite the Irish's 28-year winning streak against the Midshipmen.

When it is the home team, traditionally every other year, Navy selects a neutral site with a larger stadium than 30,000-capacity Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. But Navy is the home team this season for the game in Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., as well as next year, with Notre Dame then serving as host in 1994 and 1995.

"A few years ago, Notre Dame had a scheduling situation and asked if we could flip-flop some games," Bobinski said. "It had to do with Penn State coming off their schedule and Florida State coming on. So each of us winds up hosting two in a row."

Navy considered other sites, such as Cleveland and Giants Stadium. The latter, however, would mean Navy would play three times in Giants Stadium in less than 14 months -- against Notre Dame this Oct. 31 and Oct. 30, 1993, and against Army Dec. 4, 1993.

"We didn't think it was ideal to go to the well that often," Bobinski said.

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