Just read where the City of Oakland, ranked #5 in crime in the nation, had to lay off 200 police officers due to a budget deficit of $32 million.
Oakland is in a big hole. The Raiders are threatening to leave, the stadium is not in great shape, there is no new stadium deal in sight and the Raiders are doing nothing to get people to come to the stadium.
It’s interesting. I’ve been watching NFL as a ticket-buying fan for more than 30 years. I get it that we have to pay to watch NFL games. What I don’t get is an NFL team forcing a city’s taxpayers to pay hundreds of millions of dollars to build stadiums and subsidize their privately owned, guaranteed-to-make-money businesses. It’s real interesting. I don’t know whether its worth it to get an NFL team. On one hand, the community pays. On the other part, you have people coming to your city, spending money there, free publicity from networks, jobs generated by the games…even though they play only ten games a year on average. Twelve if the team is exceptional.
I see in the article that Atlanta, St. Louis, San Diego and Oakland are all considering replacing their stadiums. The California stadiums are old and need to be replaced but the communities are cash-strapped. Atlanta? They completed the Georgia Dome in 1992. St. Louis? Their dome was completed in 1995. Both teams are seeking new venues, with the Falcons actually going forward with theirs. I’m sure both will ask for public financing to build their stadiums.