Santa Clara: the little city that could…go bankrupt.

Why are these men laughing?

In spite of a citizen’s group protest, it appears that the San Francisco “professional” football “team,” the “49’ers”, with the cooperation of a few less than intelligent city council members (who will undoubtedly get seating priority), have hornswoggled the citizens of the tiny city of Santa Clara, CA, to go into debt to the tune of some 850 million dollars (or more, who can guess the final bill?), in order to build a stadium for said “team”  (which is actually a small group of spoiled millionaire trust funders).

The plan to pay for the 49ers’ new $1 billion home in Santa Clara will rely on the biggest loan to a public agency for any stadium in NFL history. —San Jose Mercury News

This, notwithstanding the experience of Cincinnati and other cities, or the fact that no benefits will accrue to said citizens. The name of the team will not change to the “Santa Clara 49’ers”. (although the owners did strike gold there). The only jobs that will result will be hourly parking lot attendants and hot dog hawkers. Meanwhile, the city will have to pay overtime to police and sanitation workers; drunken jerks will wander the streets, accosting citizens, urinating in alleys, vomiting on lawns, and tossing refuse from their vehicles; and the traffic will paralyze and pollute the area for 8 hours at least on every game day.

I hope that for the coming year, the city council will authorize a similar amount for the public schools, community colleges, public transit, street repair, updating the water supply and sewage treatment plant. Because, those would contribute to actual employment and opportunity, and quality of life for its citizens…

Oh, wait…

With more than four decades of evidence to back them up, economists almost uniformly agree that publicly financed stadiums rarely pay for themselves. The notable successes like Camden Yards in Baltimore often involve dedicated taxes or large infusions of private money. Even then, using one tax to finance a stadium can often steer spending away from other, perhaps worthier, projects.

“Stadiums are sold as enormous draws for events, but the economics are clear that they aren’t helping,” said Andrew Moylan, the director of government affairs at the National Taxpayers Union. “It’s another way to add insult to injury for taxpayers.”

New York Times.

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