Friday, November 11, 2005

Meet you at the Temple Bar | by Pat

It seems that 10 year extensions are all the rage at Notre Dame in the past few weeks. First Weis, then Adidas, now Navy.

With the recently announced contract extension, Navy and Notre Dame will continue to play each other until 2016. The Irish have faced the Midshipmen for 79 consecutive years, making it longest running rivlary for the ND football team.

The highlight of the new announcement is the revelation that in 2012, the Fighting Irish will battle Navy in Dublin, Ireland. In 1996 the two teams traveled to the Emerald Isle and played in Croke Park. The result was a 54-27 Irish win in Lou Holtz' final year as head coach in front of 38,651 fans.

There has been no confirmation that Croke Park will be the location for the game, but it is a likely location. Since the game in '96 the park has undergone a major renovation and now is the 4th largest stadium in Europe with capacity for over 82,000.

The only other Navy "home game" already identified is next year's game which will be played in Baltimore. The locations for the games in 2008, 2010, 2014, and 2016 are still up in the air.

Since Notre Dame has already agreed to play in the Meadowlands against a Big East opponent, it would be fun to see the location move around the country a bit more rather than just stay on the east coast. San Diego strikes me as a perfect choice as it is home to a large Naval and Irish fan contingent. This Q&A with the Navy athletic director concedes that San Diego may be an option for a future Navy game.

Q: Is there any consideration of having one of the Naval Academy football games in San Diego? With the strong military presence (Navy and Marine Corps) in the San Diego area, I believe that it would be a great success! As I look at the future schedules, I see that there has not yet been a site determined for the 2006 Navy versus Notre Dame game. There is very little doubt in my mind that a game of that magnitude would sell out and provide a very patriotic setting. I am willing to donate my time to look into the possibility, should you need any assistance. Thank you for your time! - asked by: Mike Sommers -

A: Hi, Mike. We play on the West Coast in 2007 and 2008 at Stanford and Cal/Berkeley. San Diego is a real possibility after that. Stay tuned.
He also mentions that the 2008 game against Notre Dame is in Baltimore. Given that the game location seems set for '06, '08, and '12 and that ND still tentatively has a road game at Arizona State scheduled for 2014, I'll say that if ND is going to play Navy in San Diego that 2010 is a likely candidate.