An image of a man at the Army Navy Game with his eyes closed.

Planning for Army Navy Game on Saturday – John A. Cianci

by John A. Cianci, contributing Veterans writer

Spending most of the day today at Gillette Stadium, I cannot emphasize the level of security for the Army-Navy Game. The level of security is equal to or more than I witnessed during the 2002 Olympics while performing Military Police duties with the 119th Military Police Company. 

My Friday night dispatch from Gillette:

In 2020, President Trump attended the Army-Navy Game, in which he performed the coin toss. A large number of fans were delayed getting into the game due to the security checks. Rumors at the stadium are that not only President Joe Biden attending, but also former President Donald Trump. 

Although the lots don’t open until 9:00 a.m., I suggest you be at the stadium 30-45 minutes earlier than the lots open.

Be prepared for security enforcing strict policy on bags: gallon-sized bags are permitted to bring items into Gillette Stadium. For additional information on bags, go to the Gillette Stadium website for bag policy,

Talking to security staff, those that don’t comply with the clear bag policy, you will be denied entry into the stadium.

Parking, go to

From Patriots website:

The game will officially kick off at 3:00 p.m., with parking lots scheduled to open at 9:00 a.m. and gates opening at 11:00 a.m. 

The official Army-Navy Game Fan Fest will take place from 11:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m., and the traditional March On of the Brigade of Midshipmen, followed by the Corps of Cadets, will begin at 12:10 p.m., with several other pregame activities to follow leading up to kickoff. As the venue prepares for America’s Game, Gillette Stadium officials would like to remind fans attending the shows of important ticket holder information and policies in place at the stadium.

Army-Navy fans, don’t forget to plan to visit the Patriots Hall of Fame and Patriot Pro Shop.

VETTIP – Admission is FREE for all active military and veterans. Ensure to have your ID on hand to present for free admission. 

Did you know at Patriot Pro Shop veterans receive a 10% discount on all items purchased?

Did you know the Patriot Pro Shop , 1 Patriot Place Foxborough, MA  is stocked with Army-Navy Game gear ? 

The shop is open Friday 10:00 a.m to 8 p.m

VETTIP – Go Friday in the afternoon and stay to shop at the Patriot Pro Shop. After shopping, stay for Fan Fest, which will have a large display of military vehicles and much more.      

If you don’t have game tickets, you will not have access to Fan Fest or Patriot Pro Shop on Saturday.

Visit The Patriots Hall of Fame 

Did you know Patriot Hall of Fame, 2 Patriots Place, Foxborough MA is open daily, 7 days per week, 10 AM-5 PM?

Did you know admission for active Military and Veterans is FREE, with military I.D, veteran health card, veteran designation on license and other IDs documenting you are a veteran ( DD214), etc..

The Patriots Hall of Fame presented by Raytheon Technologies is an exciting, innovative and interactive, modern museum experience for all ages. 

The Kraft family, in an effort to preserve team history and honor the greatest Patriots of all-time, built and opened The Hall in 2008. It has since undergone championship renovations to enhance its Super Bowl Experience exhibit, which takes guests inside the team’s six Super Bowl wins. It includes the sparkling Vince Lombardi Super Bowl trophies and championship rings, an interactive that allows guests to virtually make Malcolm Butler’s Super Bowl XLIX-clinching interception, and the Anatomy of a Comeback area that breaks down the Super Bowl LI win.  The Hall regularly adds to its collection and changes out artifacts and exhibits to ensure a fresh experience.

Gillette Stadium Lighthouse Experience

According to Patriot website, the new lighthouse at Gillette is the tallest in America. The lighthouse is located in the north end zone. The top of the structure stands 22 stories above the playing field and is the tallest “ lighthouse” in the United States. The 30-degree observation deck, known as the Lookout, provides spectacular panoramic views of the stadium and the surrounding area, including Boston and Providence skylines.

Admission is FREE for active duty military personnel and veterans. For adults, admission is $5 and children under 10 and under are FREE. More information on the lighthouse.

On Saturday, if you don’t have tickets to the game, you will not have access to Fan Fest before, during, or after the game.

According to staff at Gillette Stadium, Fan Fest will continue on Sunday. Moreover, the Pro Shop will be open and be well stocked for Army-Navy gear,

Army- Navy Game Events at Gillette Stadium and Providence RI

On Saturday, Dec. 9, the Army-Navy Game presented by USAA will be played at Gillette Stadium for the first time. The game will also be televised nationally on CBS, worldwide on American Forces Network and Westwood One Radio will feed their broadcast to 300-plus stations throughout the United States. The 2023 installment of Army-Navy marks the first time in the 124-yearhistory of America’s Game that it will be played in New England, and only the third time it will take place outside of the mid-Atlantic region (Chicago in 1926 and Pasadena, Calif. in 1983). In celebration of this historic occasion, Gillette Stadium, Massachusetts and Rhode Island are hosting several associated events in the leadup to the game.

Army-Navy Events in MA and RI

The Patriot Games are a two-day competition between a select group of Army West Point Cadets and Naval Academy Midshipmen, consisting of various physical and mental challenges leading up to the game’s kick-off on Saturday afternoon.

8:00 AM – Patriot Games Tug-of-War Location: Minute Man National Park by the Old North Bridge (174 Liberty St., Concord, Mass.)

Cadets and Midshipmen will square off in the first event of the Patriot Games presented by USAA. 

9:30 AM – Patriot Games , Location: Boston Common by the Soldiers and Sailors Monument (139 Tremont St., Boston, Mass.)Best of Three Competition: The Patriot Game presented by USAA continue with the Best of Three Competition near the Soldiers and Sailors Monument in the Boston Common.


11:00 AM – Parade from Boston Common to Faneuil Hall: The Army and Navy Patriot Games, Location: Boston Common (139 Tremont St., Boston, Mass.) to Faneuil Hall (4 South Market St., Boston,Mass.) teams will parade through the Boston city streets from Boston Common to Faneuil Hall in advance of the third competition.

Pep Rally

11:30 AM – Pep Rally: Location: Faneuil Hall (4 South Market St., Boston, Mass.)

The Army and Navy bands and cheer squads will help fans gear up for the game with an official pep rally in front of the Faneuil Hall Meeting House

12:00 PM – Patriot Games presented by USAA Pull-Up Competition: Location: Faneuil Hall (4 South Market St., Boston, Mass.)

Cadets and Midshipmen will square off in a pull-up competition at Faneuil Hall, with their respective bands, cheer squads and fans rooting them on.

1:30 PM – Debate: Location: Faneuil Hall Meeting House (4 South Market St., Boston, Mass.)The Army West Point and Naval Academy Debate teams will debate a designated topic within the historic Faneuil Hall Meeting House.

1:45 PM – Patriot Games Location: Charlestown Navy Yard (1st Ave & 3rd St, Boston, Mass. Relay Race: The Cadets and Midshipmen will compete in a relay race throughout historic landmarks, beginning in the Navy Yard before racing to the top of Bunker Hill and ending at the USS Constitution.


10:00 AM-12:00 PM – College GameDay: ESPN’s College GameDay will go live from Gillette Stadium, Location: Gillette Stadium Parking Lot 5B (1 Patriot Place, Foxborough, Mass.)

11:00 AM-3:00 PM – Location: Enel Plaza at Patriot Place (1 Patriot Place, Foxborough, Mass.)Official 2023 Army-Navy Game Fan Fest: The Army-Navy Game Fan Fest, featuring demonstrations, activations and more will be open to ticketed fans only on Saturday in the leadup to the game.

The game will officially kick off at Gillette Stadium at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 9. For additional information about the 2023 Army-Navy Game presented by USAA at Gillette Stadium, please visit and

Army-Navy Game Happening In Rhode Island

December 8, 2023, 530 p.m A  Partial Lighting in the Basin of Waterplace Park in Honor of the Army-Navy Game on Friday, December 8

Join us for a partial lighting in the basin of Waterplace Park on Friday, December 8 in honor of the 124th Army-Navy Game happening at Gillette Stadium, supported by General Dynamics Electric Boat with additional support by and the site’s owners, BlueForge Alliance. The lighting will begin at 5:30 p.m. and the fires will burn until 9:00 p.m. 

As the largest manufacturer in Rhode Island, Electric Boat is proud to support WaterFire and its honoring of the U.S. Naval Academy’s midshipmen on the eve of their annual game against Army,” said Kevin Graney, president of General Dynamics Electric Boat. “These men and women have chosen to wear the cloth of our nation and dedicate themselves to serving the United States as future leaders in our Navy. We join the people of the Ocean State to welcome them to the City of Providence. We hope they and their families have a wonderful evening and encourage the community to turn out and show their appreciation on this special night.”

Providence, Rhode Island will be hosting nearly 700 Navy midshipmen from the U.S Naval Academy the weekend of the 124th Army-Navy Game. 

6:00 Catch three fire-spinning performances by Cirque De Light at 6 p.m., 7 p.m., and 8 p.m.  WaterFire Providence thanks our generous supporters for helping to make this season possible. Details of the season schedule will be posted on the WaterFire Providence website at Additional events may be added to the schedule as funding becomes available.

7:00 PM – WWE Tribute to the Troops: WWE Location: Amica Mutual Pavilion (1 La Salle Square, Providence, RI)will host their 21st annual Tribute to the Troops a Providence’s Amica Mutual Pavilion, welcoming Midshipmen and Cadets to enjoy the show the night before the 2023 Army-Navy Game at Gillette Stadium. Since its inception in 2003, WWE’s Tribute to the Troops has honored our U.S. service members, veterans and their families for their continued sacrifice and commitment to our country..

“The Army-Navy Game coming to New England brings a huge opportunity for Providence to attract visitors from all over the globe,” said Kristen 

December 8 2023, WWE Tribute to the Troops, Amica Mutual pavilion. 1 Lasalle Square, Providence RI. The 21st annual Tribute to the Troops will air Friday, December 8 at 8 p.m. ET on FOX.     

Since its inception in 2003, WWE’s Tribute to the Troops has honored our U.S. service members, veterans and their families for their continued sacrifice and commitment to our country, and is widely considered one of television’s most patriotic and heartwarming shows of the year.

WWE has a multi-decade commitment to the U.S. Armed Forces, which includes visiting nearly 400 military installations throughout the world, offering all U.S. military personnel free tickets to WWE live events, and has partnered with military organizations, such as Hire Heroes USA. WWE currently supports the USO and tells stories of heroism and valor of our nation’s bravest through the company’s partnership with National Medal of Honor Museum to make an impact in the community.

Charlotte Flair, United States Champion Rey Mysterio, WWE Women’s Champion IYO SKY, LA Knight, Austin Theory, Sheamus, AJ Styles, The Street Profits

There will be a schedule of activities going on throughout the weekend of December 8-10, for more information visit

Wow! Events are happening not only at Gillette Stadium, but throughout Massachusetts and Rhode Island intertwined with the 124th Army-Navy Football game on Saturday. 

If you didn’t get tickets for the game, RINEWSTODAY highly recommends you bring the family out to Gillette Stadium on Friday or Sunday, when everything is open to the public. 



To read all columns in this series go to:  

John A. Cianci is a Veteran Service Officer. Retired, U.S. Army MSgt., Persian Gulf War and Iraq War combat theater.

Cianci, a combat disabled Veteran, served in Desert Shield/Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom. His awards include Bronze Star, Combat Action Badge, Good Conduct, and others.

Cianci belongs to numerous veterans organizations – Italian American War Veterans, American Legion, Veterans of Foreign War, and many more organizations. He is an active volunteer assisting veterans to navigate federal and state benefits they have earned. He is Department of Rhode Island Department Commander Italian American War Veterans and Veteran Service Officer.

He is a graduate of Roger Williams University (BS Finance), UCONN business school* (Entrepreneur Bootcamp for Veterans), Solar Energy International Residential, Commercial and Battery Based Photovoltaic Systems certificate programs, numerous certificates from the Department of Defense renewable energy programs, including graduate of the Solar Ready Vets Program.


  1. Albert Guarnieri, Cdr, Combat Infantrymen’s Association,RI on December 11, 2023 at 2:19 am

    Thanks to John Cianci for leading the way in recognizing World War ll Veterans as well as all Veterans from all Wars. The great attention to detail in gathering, transporting, and tending to the needs of those in attendance was evident and appreciated by myself and other Veterans lucky enough to have participated in attending the Army Navy game. Thanks to all volunteers who help John with wheel chair support for Veterans who require a little extra help get with moving around. Best of the best