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.