The government might not have enough money to put on their yearly show of airborne superiority, but one effort hopes local fans of American naval power will pitch in enough of their own cash to make sure the show gets off the ground this year.
The campaign is being organized through crowdsourcing site CrowdTilt (think: Kickstarter but with a broader range of projects). According to campaign leader Marc McCabe, the Blue Angels have already trained for the air show in advance, the only thing keeping them from taking off this October is their total lack of funding. So why not pass the hat?
From the campaign's CrowdTilt page, which hopes to raise $650,000 - $800,000 for the cause:
Last year, over one million people in the SF Bay Area eagerly watched the skies as the Blue Angels zoomed around -- I was one of them. This is a huge bummer for millions of people, all over the country. So here's a crazy idea: let's get all of our local bay area friends to group together, and find the power to make the Blue Angel show happen! I've been calling around and talked to folks at the Navy and Crowdtilt. Working off of this KQED estimate of the cost of a Blue Angels show, we believe $650k is a good goal to bring the Blue Angels back to SF. We're still working away at confirming with the Navy, but we should know the exact amount soon!
As of this writing, the campaign has raised about $5,300 from 60 contributors, averaging about $88 bucks per person — which isn't exactly a cheap ticket. But as McCabe points out, if the fundraiser doesn't reach its goal, no one will be charged. On the other hand, if it does reach its goal, there's no guarantee the Navy will even be able to accept the money and put the Blue Angels in the air either. (The mind reels trying to imagine the bureaucratic red tape around this one.) As McCabe tells SFist via email, he and CrowdTilt "haven't been directly in touch but are in the process of reaching out to the Navy. [...] We have a lot of interested parties offering a hand early on which has been great, but there's a long, long way to go. We're just excited by the potential to mobilize the city to solve a problem."
CrowdTilt has agreed to disburse the funds if the campaign reaches its goal before it ends in just over three weeks, but where those funds will actually go is still up in the air.
On the other hand, not everyone is so jazzed about the flight team. In 2007, San Francisco Supervisor Chris Daly tried to propose a non-binding resolution to ban the air show and countless others commented last month that they were perfectly happy to have a weekend in October with out all the noise.
Still, if you (or the eight-year-old boy trapped inside of you) would like to crack open the piggy bank and donate a few bucks to bail out the Navy, you can do so right here.