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

With sport, it’s best to start them young

When facing off on the court as teenagers, some players recall starting their career in elementary

Agassiz churches to come together for night of worship

The joint worship night is an attempt to revive an old event in the community

New Chilliwack YMCA was ‘worth the wait’ say visitors

Family Day will mark officially opening for new building, after sneak peek tours on Saturday

More people in Chiliwack coming in to shelters to get out of the cold

Ruth and Naomi’s went over-capacity this week to accommodate shelter guests coming in from the cold

Chilliwack Chiefs visit Kent Elementary

Grade 6 students got a chance to visit with, and play hockey against, some local hockey celebrities

VIDEO: Wheelchairs teach Agassiz students acceptance through sport

Teacher Donna Gallamore brought wheelchairs to the Kent Elementary for learning and fun

B.C. communities push back against climate change damages campaign

Activists copying California case that was tossed out of court

B.C. VIEWS: Power politics wins over rational energy policy

B.C Hydro continues to face interference on rates

PR firm suspends contract with former B.C. premier amid groping accusation

Edelman says in a statement that Campbell has served as a special adviser to the firm since last July

Vancouver crash leaves driver dead, 2 in hospital

Police are investigating what happened in 2-vehicle crash

James says B.C. budget puts priorities on NDP’s poverty, environment plans

She said she expected the government’s poverty reduction and climate change strategies to be priorities in the budget

VIDEO: Vancouver Giants blank Rockets

Langley-based G-men take over top spot in the west

PHOTOS: Day 1 of the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer

Games kicked off in Red Deer this week

Most Read