Government Shutdown Impacts Athletic Events, Again
It was less than a year ago when we reported that a government shutdown was impacting athletic events at the Air Force and Merchant Marine Academies. Now, the government is shut down and impacting the sporting world yet again. Unlike last time, the three Division I service academies and the Merchant Marine Academy are not affected because the Department of Defense was fully funded back in September. However, the Coast Guard Academy, whose teams compete in Division III, is part of the Department of Homeland Security, which is currently not funded. The Hartford Courant reports that winter sports such as basketball will continue for now, but may need to be canceled if the shutdown continues. Additionally, all staff and coaches for fall and spring sports have been furloughed.
Fortunately, there is some good news for government employees during these difficult times, at least those in the D.C. region. Several local colleges are offering free athletic tickets to government employees for the duration of the shutdown, including Howard, George Washington, George Mason, and American. The Capital City Go-Go of the G-League also offered free tickets to government employees for their home game on January 8th and will do so again on the 12th. Meanwhile, the Washington Nationals sent an email to season ticket holders on Monday announcing that government employees would be able to defer payments on their plans until the shutdown ends, the Washington Post reports. For the 800,000 employees who are either furloughed or working without pay, this is welcome news, as many of them are struggling to afford even basic necessities without a paycheck and certainly can’t afford luxuries such as a night out at a sporting event.
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