The record crowd that is expected to attend the U.S. Naval Academy – U.S. Air Force Academy football game in Annapolis, Md., Saturday may be in for a huge disappointment.
The Department of Defense announced today that all intercollegiate athletic competitions at the service academies have been suspended due to the federal government shutdown.
The final fate of the football game will be made by noon on Thursday, according to the Naval Academy statement provided to USNI News.
But other Academy athletic events are already being affected by the budget impasse. For example, the Navy-Howard University soccer game scheduled for tonight has been cancelled.
Since Saturday’s football game is scheduled to be nationally televised by CBS, both academies stand to lose millions of dollars if revenue if the game is cancelled.
In an interview with The (Annapolis) Capital, Air Force associate athletics director Troy Garnhart said that upper-class cadets at the Air Force Academy are considered military personnel and are subject to travel restrictions under the government shutdown.
Those restrictions would also apply to Navy’s upper-class midshipmen.
The contest is the first completion for the Commander-In-Chief’s Trophy between the three service academies (Air Force, Army, Navy), the game is of special importance to the Naval Academy because the 50th anniversary of the 1963 team will be recognized at halftime.
The 1963 Navy team finished the season ranked number 2 in the country, with quarterback Roger Staubach winning the Heisman Trophy.