There has been a debate raging throughout both the political and the sports world over the past several years.
Should a city use taxpayer money to help billionaire NFL owners built new stadiums? Is there a better use for this money?
We are currently having this debate in Northern California as the Oakland Raiders look for some public help financing a stadium in their home market.
It’s an issue that’s led to the team looking to move to San Antonio and Los Angeles in the past. It also has the Raiders potentially relocating to Las Vegas in the not-so-distant future.
Always willing to opine on the issues of the day surrounding the NFL, outspoken Seattle Seahawks corner Richard Sherman doesn’t think the public should be financing these billion-dollar venues.
“I’d get us out of this deficit,” Sherman said, via ESPN Radio. “I’d stop spending billions of taxpayer dollars on stadiums and probably get us out of debt and maybe make the billionaires who actually benefit from the stadiums pay for them. That kind of seems like a system that would work for me.”
This is definitely a hot button topic in Oakland and other NFL cities with archaic venues for their teams.
Does it make sense for Oakland to put up taxpayer money for a new stadium with the city’s police force being laid off and its educational system in complete shambles? How can local politicians justify that?
Sherman’s stance is one that looks at this outside of the lens of professional football. How could the normal citizen support such a measure? How could he/she do so when raising a family in a city that’s been among the most crime-ridden in the United States? In reality, life itself suggests there’s better use for this money.
As it relates to Sherman’s own team, CenturyLink Field cost $430 million to erect back in 2002. A total of $300 million of that cost was footed by the city’s taxpayers.
This despite the fact that Seahawks owner Paul Allen has a net worth of $17.8 billion and is the 26th wealthiest American, according to Forbes.