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

Man cycles across B.C. Interior for sobriety

Vancouver Island Resident Matt Fee is approaching the final phase of his cross-Canada bike journey to raise awareness about addiction recovery.

LETTER: Upper Arrow Heights resident urges council to deny rezoning in area

Mayor and Council, I am concerned about the application for rezoning and… Continue reading

Conservative leader stops in Lake Country

Andrew Scheer says he would bring back two child-focused tax credits cut by the Liberals

Kelowna classroom where child allegedly overdosed re-opens after cleaning

An 8-year-old was unresponsive and unable to walk after ingesting an unknown substance at school.

Revelstoke’s Dam Survivors bring home bronze

The dragon boat team finished up their season with a medal

VIDEO: Liberals make child care pledge, Greens unveil platform on Day 6 of campaign

Green party leader Elizabeth May unveils her party’s platform in Toronto

B.C. forest industry looks to a high-technology future

Restructuring similar to Europe 15 years ago, executive says

RCMP conclude investigation into 2017 Elephant Hill wildfire

Files have been turned over to BC Prosecution Service

B.C. wants to be part of global resolution in opioid company bankruptcy claim

Government says settlement must include Canadian claims for devastation created by overdose crisis

B.C. ends ‘birth alerts’ in child welfare cases

‘Social service workers will no longer share information about expectant parents without consent’

U.S. student, killed in Bamfield bus crash, remembered as ‘kind, intelligent, talented’

John Geerdes, 18, was one of two UVic students killed in the crash on Friday night

Facebook group forms committee against Thompson Nicola R.V. crackdown

Group discusses issues with regional R.V. bylaw at recent meeting

Free Tesla 3 offered with purchase of Surrey townhome

Century Group’s offer for Viridian development runs through Oct. 31

B.C. communities urged to improve access for disabled people

One in four B.C. residents has disability, most want to work

Most Read