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Army-Navy Game Brings More Than Tradition To Philadelphia

(credit: Hunter Martin/Getty Images)

(credit: Hunter Martin/Getty Images)

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By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Expect to see plenty of uniforms if you’re in Philadelphia this weekend. The legendary Army-Navy football classic returns to the city on Saturday, and no matter which team prevails, the real winner will be the city’s hotels and restaurants.

December is normally a slow month for hotels, but in the years when Army-Navy plays in Philadelphia, Center City hotels sell out and rooms fill up all throughout the region.

“We really look at this as our bowl game,” says Larry Needle of the Philadelphia Sports Congress.

Needle says it’s usually a high-rolling crowd, too. They go out to dinner and take in the sights.

“It’s a phenomenal weekend for our whole hospitality community,” he says.

A study a few years ago estimated the dollar impact at 35-million, but Needle also notes the television exposure, with some 4-million people watching the game.

“This really is about as big as it gets,” Needle says.

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