Super Bowl host VP fears game day limo shortage will go viral

Companies are 300 to 400 vehicles short of what’s needed for the event

Police on horseback patrol past Mercedes-Benz Stadium ahead of Sunday’s NFL Super Bowl 53 football game between the Los Angeles Rams and New England Patriots in Atlanta on Jan. 30, 2019. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Limousine companies are blaming the state of Georgia for leaving them 300 to 400 vehicles short of what’s needed to transport NFL owners, corporate clients and Very Important People this Super Bowl weekend.

Amy Patterson, vice-president of operations and logistics with Atlanta’s Super Bowl Host Committee, said in a letter to Georgia’s public safety commissioner that she fears this will become a “viral news story” and “a black eye for the state.”

READ MORE: Super Bowl 53 — What you need to know to be game-day ready

State law bars out-of-state limousines that aren’t insured and registered in Georgia. Limousine firms say they should get an exemption for special events such as the Super Bowl. The state’s public safety chief says he won’t allow it.

The concerns were first reported by Atlanta’s Fox affiliate, WAGA-TV.

“We are begging Gov. Kemp to step in and protect the people of Atlanta, the people of Georgia, the people coming in from out of town to allow us to safely handle their transportation,” said Jeff Greene, president of the Greater Atlanta Limousine Association. Greene calls the situation “extremely, extremely urgent.”

Kemp said he’s leaving it up to Georgia’s Department of Public Safety commissioner, Col. Mark McDonough, and the colonel says he won’t bend.

READ MORE: Carrie Bradshaw, ‘The Dude’ to star in Super Bowl commercial

McDonough said the law is needed for public safety, noting that chauffeured vehicles have been involved in deadly accidents.

“They’re basically asking the colonel of state patrol to set aside state law. That’s kind of brash,” McDonough told WAGA-TV . “That’s not something I’m going to give permission to do.”

Greene said limousine firms were allowed to use out-of-state vehicles to handle the crush of VIPs during the 1996 Olympic Games and the 2000 Super Bowl in Atlanta. But McDonough said he can’t find written proof that was allowed to happen.

The situation is between the limousine companies and the state, a representative of the Super Bowl Host Committee said in a Friday email to The Associated Press.

In a separate email to the AP, Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau spokesman Heather Kirksey said “we aren’t aware of a transportation shortage.”

But limousine company owner Fred Rich said “we’re going to have to break major contracts.”

“We’re going to have to tell major, major corporate clients we can’t handle their VIP travellers,” Rich said.

Authorities have been urging everyone else to use public transportation.

The Associated Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

B.C. Interior free from measles

Vancouver measles outbreak hasn’t spread to the B.C. Interior

Man injured in police shooting near Nelson has died

The death follows an incident in Bonnington on Feb. 13

Lemon Creek fuel truck driver gets $20,000 fine

Danny LaSante was sentenced in Nelson court today

LVR presents tense jury room drama

12 Angry Jurors runs Feb. 28 to March 3 in a unique venue, directed by Robyn Sheppard

Students give two thumbs up to no more B.C. student loan interest

Eliminating the loan interest charges could say the average graduate $2,300 over 10 years

Manitoba ‘pauses’ link with ex-B.C. premier Gordon Campbell after allegations

Campbell had been hired to review two major hydro projects

Heritage minute features Japanese-Canadian baseball team, internment

The Vancouver Asahi baseball team won various championships across the Pacific Northwest

UPDATE: Woman, off-duty cop in critical condition after stabbing outside B.C. elementary school

The officer was interceding in an alleged assault when he and the woman were stabbed

$10-a-day child care not in 2019 budget, but advocate not irked

Sharon Gregson with the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of B.C. says NDP on track to deliver promise

B.C. Seniors Advocate questions labour shortage in care homes

Are there really no workers, or are care aide wages too low?

B.C. business groups worry about looming economic decline in wake of NDP budget

The party’s second government budget focused on plenty of spending, business advocates say

Missing Surrey snowshoer caught in avalanche found dead on Vancouver mountain

North Shore Rescue resumed its search today after efforts were temporarily halted Tuesday due to snowstorm

Experts urge caution after 10 human-triggered avalanches across B.C.

One man is still stuck after avalanche on south coast

Most Read