How government shutdown will directly affect sports fans


The effects of the partial federal government shutdown may vary from person to person, but sports fans in particular are already feeling the impact.

First off, it was announced that due to the shutdown, the Department of Defense halted congressional funding to athletics programs at the various military academies around the country.

That means games for the Air Force Academy and U.S. Military Academy, otherwise known as West Point, are in jeopardy until the the shutdown ends. The Naval Academy is not directly affected because their athletics programs are self-funded and receive no congressional funds.

That specifically means that games between Army and Boston College as well as Air Force and Navy are in serious jeopardy of being postponed or canceled.

The game between the Air Force and Navy, a rivalry that dates back to 1960 and has been played every year since 1972, is already sold out. According to a report by FOX Sports, a record crowd of roughly 40,000 people was expected to show up in Annapolis, Md. for the game. It was also scheduled for national broadcast on CBS.

So if the game were to be canceled, that would be countless funds lost in ticket sales and advertising contracts.

If you ask me, advertisers should have the right to sue the federal government for lost funds should the game between the Air Force and Navy be canceled, while the Naval Academy should also be able to sue the government to pay back fans for their tickets.

Another effect that has been felt ever since the government went into sequestration earlier this year is that there are no flyovers of military planes at sporting events. This includes flyovers of Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, where it is tradition to have a flyover at least in the first week of the season.

While flyovers may seem menial in the grand scheme of things, the lack of pageantry that fans pay good money for is simply indicative of a government that cannot accomplish the simple task of putting together an annual budget to fund itself.

Plus, the fact that student-athletes at military academies, who not only go through the strain of being on an athletic team but also are held to the same strict standards of students at military academies, may not be allowed to go out on the field and compete but could still be required to go overseas and fight a war is just wrong.

Our government is terrible, and the fact that sports are being affected is simply another byproduct of a legislature in constant gridlock and an ineffective commander-in-chief.

Sean Frye is a senior in journalism and mass communications. Please send all comments to