New England Patriots

Dec 11, 2021; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; Navy Midshipmen fullback Isaac Ruoss (32) carries the ball against the Army Black Knights during the second half of the 122nd Army-Navy game. Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

One of college football’s most storied traditions will be coming to Foxborough in the near future. On Wednesday, it was announced that Gillette Stadium will play host to the Army-Navy Game in 2023.

The game takes place on Dec. 9 in Foxborough, and the entire region will be involved over the course of the week leading up to the game, with events in both Boston and Providence. This is the first time the Army-Navy Game will be held in New England in the 122-year history of the event.

“In New England, we value history, honor tradition, and celebrate sports rivalries,” Patriots owner Robert Kraft said in a statement. “That’s why we are so thrilled for the opportunity to host America’s Game at Gillette Stadium in 2023. There is no greater, more historical sports rivalry than the Army Navy Game. It’s a nationally-televised, signature game that we have all grown up watching. It will be our privilege and honor to welcome the Army and Navy teams, their families and all the patriots who annually attend the game. I want to thank the New England Army Navy Committee and all who partnered with us in Massachusetts and Rhode Island for their dedication and passionate support in their mission to bring America’s Game to New England.”

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick is a well-noted fan of the Naval Academy and its football team. His father Steve was a coach and scout for the Midshipmen from 1956 – when Belichick was four years old – to 1989.

“When your dad coaches at Navy, that’s a huge part of your life,” Belichick said when asked about the game in 2018. “That game is a huge part of everybody’s life at those two academies, and it extends well beyond that. But, yeah, you know in May how many days are left until you play Army.”

The yearly game between the Black Knights of the Military Academy and the Midshipmen of the Naval Academy is one of the oldest and most decorated events in college football. It has been played 122 times dating back to 1890. Navy leads the all-time series 62-53-7, although Army has won four of the last six years. The game serves as a celebration of both service academies and the Armed Forces as a whole. It also marks the end of the college football regular season, the lone game played the week before Bowl games begin.