SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – Fleet Week is up in the air this year – literally. The looming threat of a government shutdown would shut down the annual event.
“In 2013, exactly 10 years ago, there was a shutdown and the sailors and Marines could not participate, nor could the Blue Angels, we had to bow out,” said Navy spokesperson Brian O’Rourke.
In 2013, congress failed to pass a budget, throwing federal funding into a tailspin and grounding Fleet Week in San Francisco. This year, despite the looming deadline, O’Rourke says they are hoping for the best.
Staying cautiously optimistic is a common thread right now. KRON4 reached out to the SF Fleet Week Association, who in a statement said:
“San Francisco Fleet Week is standing by to take guidance from the Navy and our other military partners. Currently our staff are continuing planning as usual for the greatest Fleet Week ever. We’ll make adjustments as needed as we receive guidance.”
The Air Show Network, which puts on the programming said this:
“As of right now, nothing has been canceled and the air show is full steam ahead. We will not know the effect of the government shutdown until and if it happens.”
Fleet Week involves about 1,000 sailors and Marines as well as members of the Coast Guard.
About 1 million people come into town to watch, and that also translates into a lot of money. In fact, according to the SF Fleet Week organization, the tourism generates about $10 million.
All of this boils down to negotiations back east, so people on the West Coast will just have to watch and see how it plays out.