Sep 21, 2013; Colorado Springs, CO, USA; Members of Air Force Falcons run out onto the field before the start of the game against the Wyoming Cowboys at Falcon Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Air Force football will play at Navy this weekend, although other service academy varsity and club sports are suspended because of the government shutdown.
The Defense Department said Thursday everything at Navy was on hold through Sunday except for Saturday's football game against the Falcons. Earlier this week, Air Force canceled all travel for athletic teams, but they are attempting to play all home events.
Navy and Air Force received the go-ahead to play because the game is not funded by the government. A sellout crowd is expected for the 9:40 a.m. (mountain) kickoff.
"I'm thrilled our students and those from the service academies will get to play their games this weekend," athletic director Brad Bates said. "Thank you, fans, for your patience and understanding the past couple of days."
Service academy football games are paid for with nonappropriated funds and have been long planned. Such funds generally come from outside sources and are not approved through Congress.
Air Force next plays a home game at Falcon Stadium on Thursday against San Diego State.
Navy athletic director Chet Gladchuk said his department had provided information to Pentagon officials to assure them that no government money will be spent on any aspect of the game. Gladchuk said a Navy home game brings in about $4 million from tickets, sponsorship, television and radio rights fees and other revenues such as parking and concessions. The game essentially pays for itself, he said.
Football revenue funds Navy's 32 other sports teams. As for the consequences of a home football game being canceled, Gladchuk said Wednesday: "It would be devastating to our budget."
Army will play its game, too. Boston College said on its website that Saturday's game against the service academy will proceed.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)