Cadets, midshipmen, and airmen need not worry. The games will proceed as planned.
The U.S. Department of Defense stated Thursday that Navy's game against Air Force will push through, although other sporting events will either be moved or cancelled, including soccer, swimming and volleyball.
Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium
The Navy-Air Force game got the green light because it is not funded by congressional appropriations. A sellout crowd is expected at Annapolis, the site of the U.S. Naval Academy campus. The game will also be televised nationally.
“This is a huge relief that we’re able to play,” Navy Athletic Director Chet Gladchuk told media.
In a remarkable show of volunteerism, United Airlines offered to fly the Air Force Falcons to Maryland just for the game.
Similarly, the Army will travel to Boston to play against Boston College on Saturday.
Service academy football games are usually funded using money not coming from the federal budget and have been scheduled long in advance, thus not requiring approval from Congress. A typical Navy home football game raises $4 million from ticket sales, television and radio rights, sponsorships and incidental expenses such as concessions. In fact, the Navy football funds the school's other sports teams.
The Air Force-Navy game will crucial as it will determine the winner of the annual Commander-In-Chief's trophy, awarded to the service academy with the best record, involving the three service academies in Division I. Over the past 13 years, the winner of the Navy-Air Force game has gone on to win the prestigious award.
The 2-3 Army Black Knights will take on the struggling Boston College Eagles in an attempt to duplicate their 2010 Armed Forces Bowl-winning season, and have already tied their 2012-13 win total. The Navy Midshipmen are 2-1 this season, while the Air Force Falcons are 1-4. Navy is playing in its second-to-last season as an independent before moving to the new American Athletic Conference in 2015.
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