With the government shutdown threatening the cancellation of the annual Air Force-Navy game, United Airlines is prepared to step in. There is a question of whether the funds used for sporting activities are congressionally appropriated. While Navy uses non-appropriated funds for athletics, the U.S. Air Force Academy partially fund their athletics programs through appropriated funds. Lawyers are trying to determine whether non-appropriated funds might be used by the Air Force team to travel to Navy (at Jack Stephens Field at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, in Annapolis, Md.). Amidst the uncertainty, United Airlines has stepped up and offered to fly the Falcons to the game for free.
The U.S. Naval Academy said in a statement that a decision will be made by noon Thursday about whether the Midshipmen will play Air Force. The football rivalry between Navy and Air Force dates to 1960, and they have played each other every year since 1972. Saturday's game is sold out.