Government shutdown jeopardizes Air Force-Navy football game scheduled for Saturday

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - If the government stays shut down, the Air Force football team will not be able to travel to Maryland to play a nationally televised game against Navy.

The game is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 5, but the shutdown has forced the Air Force Academy to cut athletic travel and several other expenditures.

Similarly, the Naval Academy has already begun to cancel athletic contests. Navy athletics spokesman Scott Strasemeier said a decision regarding the game's future will be made public by noon Thursday.

WMAR reports Navy Athletics Director Chet Gladchuck said canceling Saturday's game would be a tremendous economic blow not only for the Academy, but for Annapolis and the entire Baltimore region. He said a record 40,000 fans have purchased tickets for the game, part of the Commander-in-Chief series between the three service academies.

The Air Force Academy says their athletic program will "attempt to play home intercollegiate athletic contests but those may be cancelled as well."

In addition to the game against Navy, the shutdown forced the cancellation of 20 percent of courses at the Air Force Academy. The Cadet Chapel, Visitor's Center, cadet library, media lab and tutor centers are all closed. The commissary was open Tuesday to sell off perishable items, but will be closed starting Wednesday.

The 306th Flying Training Group -- the unit that teaches cadets to fly, glide and skydive -- has cancelled all flying operations.

More than 1,000 civilian employees of the Academy are furloughed. Any who went to work Tuesday were allowed up to four hours in their offices to clean up, finalize their timecard or do other housekeeping tasks but were given specific instructions to not do any actual work.

450 other employees remain on the job, focused on safety and security work.

AFA has cancelled the Fall Festival and the Winter Expo & Ski Swap scheduled for Saturday. Custodial services and technology services on campus are also on hold.