Vice President Mike Pence’s visit to an Indianapolis Colts game last season was a controversial and also a brief one.
After several members of the San Francisco 49ers knelt during the national anthem, Pence and his delegation immediately left the stadium — and left taxpayers on the hook for the tab.
A report published Saturday by the Huffington Post cites newly released documents from the Department of Homeland Security that increase the estimated cost of Pence’s visit — including hotel, travel and additional security measures — to at least $325,000.
All so Pence could not watch an NFL game.
The documents, according to Huffington Post, also indicate the vice president’s early departure was premeditated.
Pence, the former governor of Indiana, said he planned the trip well in advance because of a pregame tribute to former Colts quarterback Peyton Manning. However, he left before kickoff because he said he was offended by the Niners players kneeling during the anthem.
“I will not dignify any event that disrespects our soldiers, our Flag or our National Anthem,” he tweeted.
I left today's Colts game because @POTUS and I will not dignify any event that disrespects our soldiers, our Flag, or our National Anthem.
— Vice President Mike Pence (@VP) October 8, 2017
In addition to the cost of Pence’s flight on Air Force Two, additional security measures were ordered in conjunction with the vice president’s visit, including the construction of temporary walkways in downtown Indianapolis.
However, the dates on the newly released (and as the Huffington Post notes, heavily redacted) documents indicate the walkways were ordered the Friday before the game. And a lodging agreement with the Crowne Plaza Indianapolis Airport was signed three days earlier.
Pence’s staff also informed reporters before the game that the vice president “may depart the game early.”
The additional Secret Service expenses totaled $75,000, the Huffington Post reported. Last year, The Washington Post estimated the cost of the flight on Air Force Two was roughly $250,000. Those figures don’t include the cost of local law enforcement and emergency services that were required because of Pence’s visit.