Anyone who’s been to Annapolis during the fall knows about the spirited atmosphere that engulfs the city during football season. Every Naval Academy home game, the city swells to capacity with fans from all around flooding into the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium to catch the Midshipmen in action. Read on for some important information and tips on how to best enjoy a Navy home game this season.
Make a Weekend of it
If you come to Annapolis for a Navy game, why not spend the weekend at Maryland’s historic and picturesque state capital? Book a room in one of the city’s great hotels, B&Bs, or alternative lodging options and enjoy Annapolis for a day or two. Stroll downtown for breakfast or lunch before the game, then head back out for a little dinner nightlife afterwards. Take a day to join a tour and learn about the rich history of Annapolis, head over to the Naval Academy for a day – open to the public seven days a week (government-issued photo ID required for anyone over 18 years old). Join a tour or wander the Yard at your own pace, stopping in at the world-class USNA Museum, Memorial Hall, Dahlgren Hall, the USNA Chapel, or to catch noon formation. You can even Dine on the Yard at one of two restaurants. Plus, there’s no better place to stock up on your Navy gear than the gift shop located in the Armel-Leftwich Visitors Center.
If you’re flying into BWI Marshall, consider staying in one of the Hotels at BWI. Located minutes from BWI Airport and easily accessible to Arundel Mills Mall, Maryland Live! Casino, Baltimore, and Annapolis, it’s a great starting base to make the most out of a Navy home game. It’s also your best option if you plan to catch the Army-Navy game at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore on December 10, 2016.
Navy's tailgate is known as one of the best in the country, so if you’re one for tailgating, get your season tickets ahead of time and head over to the parking lot at the stadium. Tents and small gas grills are permitted on the premises. Tents larger than "10x10" pop-up are allowed only on the perimeter of the stadium and in the NavyFest area. Tailgate groups must have at least 20 members. Locations are available by calling 1-800-US4-NAVY.
NavyFest - "The Great Annapolis Tailgate Party"
NavyFest, a place to bring a group of friends, family, co-workers, etc. to enjoy a pre-game, half-time and/or post-game tailgate party while experiencing the pageantry of Navy Football. Organize a group as small as twenty (20) or as large as a thousand! Your group is guaranteed a memorable experience.
A great place to go if your group is not large enough for a NavyFest Tailgate Party. You can bring clients, family or friends to enjoy the tastes of Annapolis as a preferred caterer of Navy Football demonstrates their best menu in an all-you-can-eat-and-drink pre-game tailgate party. You'll take pleasure from their fine cuisine while you watch the Brigade of Midshipmen "March-on" to the field, the famous Hat Trick Cheer first hand and a fly-over by Navy planes.
2017 Navy Home Games
Tulane - Sept. 9
Cincinnati - Sept. 23
Air Force - Oct. 7
UCF - Oct. 21
SMU - Nov. 11
Army - Dec. 9 (@ Philadelphia, PA)
Game Day Highlights
There are plenty of in-game festivities/traditions that take place as well. You can’t miss the flyover each game (weather permitting), or the team entering the stadium carrying our country’s flag onto the field. There’s also the firing of the cannon after every navy touchdown, followed by the Plebes (first-year Midshipmen) knocking out a pushup for each point on the board.
Game Day Parking
Whether coming to the game with a few friends or the whole crew, there are plenty of parking options and things to do in Annapolis before the big game. If you’re planning to hang out in town before or after the game and you enjoy a quick walk, you can choose to park in one of the city’s five parking garages for the day. All garages are an approximate 10- to 20-minute walk from the stadium.
Stadium parking is reserved for those who purchase season tickets in advance of the season. Individual game parking is very rare and posted on the Academy’s website when available. Season parking passes are available for purchase by calling the Navy Ticket Office at 1-800-US4-NAVY in advance. Passes cost $100 for regular-sized vehicles, and $300 for over-sized vehicles such as RVs or buses.
Germantown Elementary (200 Windell Road) and Phoenix Academy - 1411 Cedar Park Ave provides a convenient off-site parking option located just a few blocks from Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. Game day parking is $20 for a single-space vehicle and $60 for an oversized vehicle.
Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman
Annapolis is host to the 2016 Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman on December 27th. This is “can’t miss” Annapolis holiday college bowl day begins with a morning parade starting at City Dock, making its way up Main Street then to the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium for the Military Bowl Pre-Game Tailgate. The game features the American Athletic Conference and Atlantic Coast Conference champs squaring off for bowl rights.
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