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Navy vs. Notre Dame feels right at home in Jacksonville

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Florida-Georgia rivalry game is the crown jewel of college football in Jacksonville. The game has been held in The River City since 1933, with only two exceptions. One week after hosting the annual tilt between the Gators and Bulldogs, EverBank Field accommodated an even more storied rivalry.

Navy and Notre Dame have the longest intersectional rivalry in the history of college football. On Saturday they battled for the 90th straight year. Navy traditionally plays its home games against Notre Dame in an NFL city. EverBank Field served as the 16th venue to host this game.

“Jacksonville is such a great Navy city,” said United States Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus on the CBS broadcast. “This is a great Navy area. This is a Navy home game. They’re all great neighbors and great friends. They just support us so well. This is a terrific place to play any ball game, but particularly this one against Notre Dame.”

This is the second time this game has been played in the state of Florida, with Notre Dame winning 45-14 in Orlando in 2000. In 2018 this series will move west of the Mississippi River for the first time as the two teams will square off in San Diego, California.

The location for the 2020 version of this rivalry hasn’t been announced but the Jacksonville Sports Council is hoping to bring this game back to the River City in the near future.

“They’re going to San Diego in two years but we’d like to show them that they’d rather come here,” said JAXSPORTS President and CEO Rick Catlett. “I see a rotation beginning to form, where they would play the game in Philadelphia, San Diego and here in Jacksonville. Our hopes are to put on a good enough show to make those guys at the Naval Academy think this is a great place.”