The Capital is reporting that bidding is set to begin for future Army-Navy games:
Details of the request for bids are still being worked out. But cities may have the chance to bid on seven years of the Army-Navy game, about 2018 to 2025, Gladchuk said.
Bids to host the game were last sought in 2009, when Baltimore, Washington, and Philadelphia were selected over 15 competing cities. Twelve cities made bids to host in 2003, including Seattle, Houston, San Antonio, Chicago, and three bids from Florida.
I found a couple of quotes in the story to be interesting:
Gladchuk told the Naval Academy’s Board of Visitors that organizers of “America’s game” will request bids in December from cities.
“It’d be great to have the game in a few more (cities),” he said.
“People are interested in it, very much so. We want to make sure it’s in different stadiums around the country,” said Boo Corrigan, Army’s director of athletics.
Bids have come from all over the country in the past, but the logistics of moving the game to a less traditional location have been prohibitive. The cost of moving both the Brigade of Midshipmen and the Corps of Cadets would be enormous, and now that the game is played a week later, it falls right in the middle of final exams. It appears, though, that both sides are willing to entertain ways to make it work.
Well, maybe. One of the benefits of entertaining 15 bids is that the competition forces everyone to make their best possible offer. If potential bidders see that the same few cities are awarded the game every time, the bids will stop coming. It’s in both Army and Navy’s best interest to keep these cities motivated to submit bids, and one could argue that these comments are only meant to serve those ends.
On the other hand, there might be something to them this time, especially in Navy’s case. The Midshipmen, now that they are members of the American Athletic Conference, are locked into more or less the same schedule every year. As an independent they played everywhere from Detroit to Honolulu, but their ability to do so is limited now. Moving high-profile neutral site games is one way to maintain Navy’s coast-to-coast tradition. Navy has already announced future Notre Dame games to be played in Jacksonville and San Diego. Moving the Army game isn’t without precedent either, as the game was played in Pasadena in 1983.
There’s a balancing act to consider here as well. Is it more beneficial to move around the country, or is it better for the game’s brand to have it linked to one city? I think there are advantages to the game having a traditional home like Philadelphia, but at the same time you don’t want the city to take our showcase for granted (like, say, by putting it in a dilapidated stadium with railings held up with duct tape, or by scheduling cardiologist conventions at the same time). I wouldn’t be surprised to see a combination of both. While I prefer Philadelphia as the game’s natural home, Baltimore goes all-out for Army-Navy and has been a tremendous host. And wouldn’t it be fun to see the game return to Chicago for the 100th anniversary of the original “Game of the Century?”
Ratings for the game are on the rise, so hopefully the same can be said about interest in hosting it.