‘Huge win for our state’: Tens of thousands coming to Mass. for Army-Navy game, Gov. Healey says

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Next weekend’s Army-Navy Game at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, only the third time in the game’s 124-year history that it will be played outside of the mid-Atlantic region, will be an economic boon for Massachusetts and help kick off a series of historical celebrations here, Gov. Maura Healey said Wednesday.

The Army-Navy football game is a tradition that began in 1890 when the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in New York faced off against the U.S. Naval Academy in Maryland. The Navy Midshipmen lead the series, 62–54–7, but the Army Black Knights won last year’s contest 20-17 in double overtime. When the game kicks off at 3 p.m. on Sat., Dec. 9, it will be the first time the service academies square off in New England and the third time it is played somewhere other than the mid-Atlantic (Chicago hosted in 1926 and Pasadena, Calif., hosted in 1983).

Most tickets for the game are controlled by the academies and secondary market prices have been soaring as thousands of people from around the country intend to flock to Foxborough for “America’s Game.”

“Certainly, the Army-Navy Game is a huge win for our state. We know ... that there will be significant impact and in terms of what it’s going to do for Massachusetts, where we’re gonna have tens of thousands of visitors. Jonathan [Kraft] described more excitement than Taylor Swift, which is saying something having watched the frenzy this past summer, with over 50,000 tickets already already bought by fans from out of state,” Healey said. “So we’re really, really excited about that. We also think it’s really exciting that it is happening here in New England.”

Before presenting the captains of each squad with replicas of bowls made by Paul Revere, the governor on Wednesday previewed some of the American history anniversaries that Massachusetts will soon be celebrating, including the 250th anniversary of the Boston Tea Party, 225th anniversary of the USS Constitution’s maiden voyage and the commissioning of the new USS Massachusetts as a Navy vessel.

“I can’t think of a better way to kick it off than with America’s Game here next week,” Healey said.

The Army-Navy Game will be played in Maryland the next two years (Landover in 2024 and Baltimore in 2025), then in East Rutherford, N.J., in 2026 and back to Philadelphia, which was hosted the game 90 times, for 2027.

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