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Navy cancels Fleet Week in New York City

Sailors line the deck of the USS Wasp

Sailors line the deck of the USS Wasp as it sails by the Statue of Liberty during Fleet Week. (May 23, 2012) Credit: AP

Bad news for New York City Fleet Week fans.

The Navy said Wednesday its ships will not participate in the annual Fleet Week celebration, scheduled for May 23-30.

Earlier this month, a Navy spokeswoman said the event costs the Navy as much as $10 million and officials suggested it might be scuttled due to federal spending cuts known as the sequester.

U.S. Coast Guard cutters and helicopters also won't participate.

The annual event features sailors and sailing vessels from all over the world. It was not clear Wednesday if the U.S. Navy pullout might affect foreign naval vessels coming to New York Harbor for Fleet Week.

The Navy said earlier this month it was following "Department of Defense guidance that no branch of the Armed Forces can participate in community events that come at an additional cost."

City officials have said they couldn't provide a "sophisticated analysis" of Fleet Week's impact. But the event, which began in 1984, is believed to contribute tens of millions of dollars to the economy. As many as 6,000 service members were expected to visit the city for a week, plus family, friends and supporters who often participate in Fleet Week events.

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