Notre Dame Navy's long history will add a new chapter next year

Saturday's battle was the 85th time on the gridiron. It's the longest, uninterrupted intersectional rivalry in college football. But this game is a lot more than just a rivalry.

Since 1927, the Irish and the Midshipmen have created a history of tradition, friendship and respect. In fact, that friendship saved the university.

During World War II, enrollment fell drastically at Notre Dame, in the spring of 1943, it was barely over 2,500 students, and like many other colleges at the time, Notre Dame faced severe financial difficulties.

At the same time, Navy was also struggling, they needed a place to train the increased number of Naval Officers needed to fight in the war. So they picked Notre Dame. From 1942 to 1946, over 10,000 officers were trained at Notre Dame.

So many, in fact, that the university was referred to as Annapolis West, and it was enough to keep Notre Dame alive. But even during a football game, you can see that friendship and respect.

The Navy Band has played the Notre Dame Victory March as they walk out of the tunnel before the game. And afterwards, the Irish players are known to stand with the Midshipmen as they sing the academy's alma mater.

Now next year's game is going to be a little different, the Irish and the Midshipmen will meet on the gridiron, in Dublin. They'll be facing off for their 86th game, in Aviva Stadium.

The $410 million, four-level, state of the art facility just opened last may. It has a seating capacity of 50,000, with all of the seats under cover. On top of regular spectator seats, there are 10,000 club seats and 36 luxury suites.
Aviva Stadium was designed by Populous, the same architecture firm that was involved with Heinz Field, Yankee Stadium, Camden Yards, and the Sydney Olympic Stadium.

Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
powered by Disqus
WNDU - Channel 16 54516 State Road 933 South Bend, IN 46637 Front Desk: 574-284-3000 Newsroom: 574-284-3016 Email:
Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 132855938 -
Gray Television, Inc.