Government shutdown: Navy-Air Force football game on; others in limbo

Saturday's Navy-Air Force game will go on, but the government shutdown leaves the fate of other athletic events in limbo.

Story highlights

  • If shutdown continues, service academy games will be reviewed on a weekly basis
  • Navy-Air Force was allowed to go forward because it involved all non-budgeted funds

Are you ready for some football? Not so fast!

The Navy-Air Force and the Boston-Army games are on. But there's no word yet on whether 23 other weekend athletic events at service academies will take place, thanks to the government shutdown.

Even the Navy-Air Force game practically became a matter of national security. Though the game was sold out, the two sides had to wait for the Defense Department's greenlight.

A senior department official said the game was allowed to go forward because it involved all non-budgeted funds, and thus was not affected by the shutdown.

The official said planning and preparation, including broadcast contracts, had already been in place for this week's game. It'll kick off at 11:40 a.m. Saturday at the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Maryland, and will be televised by CBS.

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The United States Naval Academy enters the contest with a 2-1 record, while United States Air Force Academy is 1-4. The winner of the last 13 encounters went on to win the Commander-In-Chief's Trophy.

Other games uncertain

The future of other critical matchups this weekend is still up in the air.

The Army will play Boston College this weekend, a senior defense official said early Thursday morning.

"Lots of chatter re Army game; we owe you accuracy. In constant contact with Army tonight, will let you know asap when confirmed," the college's athletic director, Brad Bates, tweeted late Wednesday night.

Should the shutdown continue, service academy games will be reviewed on a week-by-week basis.

"Each one of the service academies has some type of athletics alumni association that can help provide non-appropriated funds," Cmdr. Bill Urban told HLNtv.com. "We absolutely can't use appropriated funds during a government shutdown because we don't have them."