Ireland’s Large Gathering Ban & Its Impact on Notre Dame – Navy

No one has reasonably thought that Notre Dame and Navy would be playing a football game in Dublin on August 29 for weeks now with coronavirus shutting down the world of sports and casting doubt on whether or not there even are going to be games this fall.  Tuesday Ireland banned all gathering of more than 5,000 people through August, casting even more doubt the Irish and Midshipmen play a game in Ireland this year.

Neither Notre Dame nor Navy made any announcements on Tuesday related to the game, but with the game scheduled for August 29 and the country banning all gatherings of more than 5,000 people through August, it’s only a matter of time until they do.

If this game ends up being played on August 29 in Dublin by some miracle, it won’t be in front fans – or at least too many of them – in the stands.

More likely, not only won’t this game be played in Dublin, it probably won’t be played in August or even September.  There is some speculation that college football might not be played until winter, and the season could even start in January.  No one knows at this point.

This game was set up to be a trip of a lifetime for many Notre Dame fans.  The Fighting Irish kicking off their season in Dublin with ESPN College Gameday making the trip as well.  In the grand scheme of things right now, though, a lot of people are losing a lot more than a vacation.

If this game is ultimately played in 2020 and it has to be played somewhere else, it is technically a Navy home game.  While it’s not Dublin, Annapolis would be a heck of an alternative.  Notre Dame and Navy have never played at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, whose capacity is just 34,000.

We’re a long way from knowing what will happen with this game or any other in 2020, for that matter.  Today was just the first domino to fall.

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3 Comments

  1. If football can occur with fans – why not play this one up the road in Baltimore? This game has been played in Ravens Stadium multiple times and is a bigger and better alternative to Navy’s Division II-III level stadium. Obviously, if no fans are allowed to attend, Annapolis would be fine, Annapolis High School would be fine too I suppose.

    1. Taking out the logistics of whether or not fans – let alone 80,000 of them – will be in the stands if/when this game is played, playing it in Annapolis as opposed to playing another game in a cookie-cutter NFL Stadium would be a pretty cool experience for those who did get to attend. Notre Dame plays in so many NFL Stadiums – which for the most part are all very similar and all just surrounded by giant parking lots – that having the game on Navy’s campus for a change would be a pretty cool experience.

      1. I don’t disagree, but it would be a pretty cool experience for about 1,000 ND fans, maybe a few more, rather than potentially tens of thousands in Baltimore. ND plays in many NFL stadiums, but I would never in a million years call Baltimore, Green Bay, Atlanta or Pittsburgh (all stadiums ND is playing in/potentially playing in this year “cookie cutter”) and each venue has character and a nice surrounding bar/hotel/fun scene to experience. Met Life in NY/NJ and Lincoln Financial in Philly are prime “cookie cutter” places surrounded by giant parking lots within walking distance of nowhere, but I’d argue Baltimore is a great venue for many reasons – of course this is all “if” or “maybe”, so I suppose this back and forth is all in good speculative fun – I truly have no issue with playing in Annapolis and if it happens hope the few lucky ND fans that can maybe attend love it, but my little opinion isn’t worth much! Let’s just hope some ball gets played that day!

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