Air Force will be making their scheduled to trip to Navy on Saturday, and they will have the United Services Automobile Association to thank for it. The USAA is picking up the entire travel fare to send the program to Navy this weekend.
According to a report by USA Today, the cost to send Air Force to the game is $230,000.
“They did a great job for us,” Air Force Academy Athletic Corporation CEO Derm Coll said to USA Today. “They’re picking up the bills for everything we need.”
Air Force’s ability to fund the trip was up int he air as a result of the government shutdown. While enough resources were available to fund the trip by Air Force, there were some questions as to whether the funds would be eligible to be used under the circumstances related to the government shutdown. As a result the Air Force needed to raise enough funds through private sources that would not be tied to any government funding. A conversation with the USAA resulted in a bigger offer than Air Force had been hoping for.
“I was expecting we’d get $50,000 or $100,000,” Coll said to USA Today. “They came back and said they’re picking up the whole thing; let’s get this game going, it’s important for us to support the military.”
The USAA is a major sponsor for each of the service academies as well as the annual Army-Navy Game.