JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Working on "neutral-site" college football games has been a long-standing tradition in Jacksonville and in 2016 the list of those games will grow by at least one.
Notre Dame and Navy will play in Jacksonville the week after Florida/Georgia next year as a Navy home game, joining the Florida/Georgia game as the only neutral site games in Jacksonville. Sources have confirmed that the game will be played here in 2016 but no on the record comments were made citing, "next week's announcement." The Jacksonville Sports Council has a press conference scheduled for next Wednesday afternoon to formalize the agreement. With the Curry administration just beginning, they're working out how the announcement will be made, including the new mayor.
The Notre Dame football schedule has always said, "site to be determined" next to the Navy game on November 5th. The former Gator Bowl Association along with the city of Jacksonville have pursued a Navy home game for the last ten years or so and secured the game against Notre Dame for a one-year contract.
While this is a solid addition to the sports landscape, it might not be the last announcement. The Jacksonville Sports council and the City of Jacksonville are pursuing a deal with Florida State to bring one of their neutral site games here. Former Gator Bowl President and now President of Gator Bowl Sports Rick Catlett, has been a big proponent of bringing neutral site games here. He has pursued Navy, Notre Dame and FSU in the past along with numerous other teams willing to listen to a proposal to bring a home game here. FSU played Southern Miss in the old Gator Bowl with Brett Favre at quarterback. (Southern Miss won the game. FSU lost the next week at Clemson and then ran off 10 straight victories). Notre Dame has played here in the past in the Gator Bowl and has a tradition of playing around the country (and the world) including Washington DC, New York and Dublin, Ireland in recent years.