NFL City at What Cost?

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.

Meanwhile the city of Oakland paid the Oakland Raiders $17 million this year.

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.




About bittersportspills

I love sports. I don't love the hype, homerism, ratings talk, self-important egomaniacs, bias or any of the other nonsense you get with the national media. Nor will you get the two clowns on sports talk radio who stage phony arguments. It doesn't make it entertaining. It makes it time to turn on your iPod and jam instead of listening to white noise generators. This is the sports blog for you, the ones who don't like everything Los Angeles or New York. Just because the sporting media is based there doesn't mean we have to like their teams. We do treat them fairly, though. That means if one of those cities has an average QB who plays particularly well...we'll note it. If they're garbage, we'll say so. Instead of crying "why, why, why" like a certain sports media homer did in his radio broadcast. This isn't my job...I have a real one. Nevertheless, I'll post here when I make an observation. Common sense in sports is nearly dead. Now we're attempting to bring it back.
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