The ongoing partial government shutdown could have a great impact on the upcoming Super Bowl LIII, which takes place on February 3 in Atlanta, Georgia, NBC News reports.
Dan McCabe, a representative for the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, told NBC that meetings on the expected surge in travel for the super bowl “stopped happening” when the shutdown began almost four weeks ago. Controllers anticipate an additional 1,500 flights into the Atlanta area the week of the super bowl.
"When we work on something as big as the Super Bowl — the biggest spectator event in the country — it takes us a lot of time to plan on extra airplanes and traffic," McCabe continued. "We're going to keep the event safe, but we want it to be an enjoyable event for everybody. It's frustrating that I know it won't be as good as it could be."
Security expert Tim Brady, of IMG GlobalSecur, told NBC that the shutdown also could affect security at the game, since the Department of Homeland Security works closely with the NFL, FBI and local law enforcement to ensure safety, but much of the personnel typically involved come from agencies that have been affected by the shutdown.
"I'm not sure how they're going to deal with that," Bradley said. "How do they even pay for these agents to travel down there if they don't have funding?"
A DHS spokesperson assured NBC that "the current lapse in government funding will have no effect on our commitment to assuring a safe and secure event."
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