Navy's athletic director Chet Gladchuk said Tuesday that the Annapolis, Maryland area could miss out on millions of economic dollars because of the possible cancellation of Saturday's game against Air Force.
As part of the government shutdown, all intercollegiate football games at service academies are set to be canceled if the shutdown continues. For now, the game is canceled, though if a resolution is reached by Thursday morning, it could still be played.
Gladchuk said that 40,000 tickets had been purchased for the game and that the average Navy home game generates $7 million in economic revenue for the Annapolis area. Air Force canceled its travel arrangements on Tuesday. (Perhaps a reverse jinx?)
"When you consider all of the people that come in from out of town, stay at hotels, go to the restaurants and spend money at local shops, the economic impact is unbelievable," Gladchuck said. "Right now, we're like the rest of the country; we're keeping our fingers crossed and hoping this gets settled sooner rather than later or at least we'll be given some latitude in order to play this game."
It's also possible that the game could be played because of private funding.
A military source said there's about a "50/50 chance" that the game will be played with conference fees, conference TV money and ticket revenue making up for a lack of government funding. If that falls through and the government remains shut down by 10 a.m. Thursday, the game will be cancelled or postponed.
And United Airlines has also jumped in on Twitter.
— United (@united) October 2, 2013
Any prolonged shutdown because of the fighting in Congress will not only impact the game Saturday (as well as potentially Army's game against Boston College), but wreak havoc with the schedules of the service academies and the other schools on their schedule as well. Imagine if the shutdown continued through -- heaven forbid -- the beginning of November. Think of the outcry if Notre Dame lost its November 2 home game if Navy couldn't travel there?
Gladchuk said that Navy doesn't have any open dates left the rest of the season, so a makeup against Air Force, if the game is canceled, would be hard to reschedule.