Notre Dame-Navy game to return to Ireland in 2020

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish are returning overseas to face an opponent that knows a thing or two about navigating ocean waters.

The 2020 game against the Navy Midshipmen has been moved from MetLife Stadium in New Jersey and instead will be played at Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland.

"I'm so excited, not only for our student-athletes and those that will travel from the States, but for the people of Ireland and all of those that will make this another experience to cherish," Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick said in a statement.

The game, originally scheduled to take place Sept. 5, also has been moved up a week to Aug. 29, 2020. By doing so, Notre Dame now has two bye weeks on its 2020 schedule.

Navy and Notre Dame also played in Ireland in 1996 and 2012.

"In 2012, it was one of the greatest airlifts in all of sports with more than 35,000 people coming from the United States to witness the beauty of Ireland and the extravaganza that is Navy-Notre Dame, and we expect just as many people to return in 2020," Naval Academy athletic director Chet Gladchuk said in a statement.

"The support and enthusiasm for the game in Ireland is magnificent with the complete support from the Prime Minister and the Irish government agencies. We are looking forward to a great matchup in a country that knows no bounds for hospitality."

The game will be the first of five annual Aer Lingus College Football Classic games to take place in Dublin. The participants for the other games through 2024 have yet to be announced.

"This is a long-term partnership with U.S. college football," Prime Minister of Ireland Leo Varadkar told reporters Thursday. "We want to see it continue long into the future."

Notre Dame and Navy, who play each other this Saturday in San Diego, have played every year since 1927 -- the longest continuous intersectional rivalry in college football.