Sam Says: Fans are being robbed by the NFL

Posted on Oct 30 2013 - 4:51am by Sam Horn, Sports Editor

Professional sports teams have asked too much of taxpayers in the past 90 years.
Since 1923, 186 professional sports stadiums have been built in America. This process has cost about $53 billion, and taxpayers have accounted for nearly 61 percent of the costs.

Considering many people go through their lives having a difficult time paying for groceries, gas and house payments, this is too much to ask.
Millions of people do not make millions of dollars and cannot afford life’s many luxuries like an exotic vacation to the Bahamas or the newest Lamborghini model.

The American median household income is just above $50,000 as of 2011. That figure is well below $1 million.
The many who fall under this category of “average American citizens” enjoy many things in life even though they may not be able to afford it.
One of those loves is the NFL.

The statistics can prove that fact — 64 percent of Americans watch the NFL each week, according to “By the Numbers,” a show that airs on ESPN.
Even though Americans probably love every aspect of the brutally physical sport, I bet they’re not ready for this: the NFL wants even more money to build newer and better stadiums.

If the NFL wonders whether or not people are ready to submit and pay nearly every penny out of their pockets to produce fancy stadiums, the short answer is no.

“It would depend on how much [tax] money goes towards the stadium,” sophomore Sam Geisslinger said. “Why should everyone chip in if not everyone watches the NFL?”

Of all the sports stadiums, the NFL has received the largest taxpayer contribution at 68 percent.
The Minnesota Vikings have been at the forefront of this heated topic for the past year.

Zygi Wilf, the owner of the Vikings, told Minnesotans if they didn’t fund $1 billion for a new stadium, he would relocate the team. Wilf, although he is loved by many Minnesotans, is a con.

He is a liar.

A New Jersey court ruled that the Wilf clan defrauded many business partners out of millions of dollars.
Now, he has to pay $84.5 million to his former partners. Wilf has been ordered to pay 60 percent of the damages. After this lawsuit, Wilf is running dangerously low on funds.

How can Zygi possibly afford to produce a $1 billion stadium?

Well, by deception of course.

Wilf received a subsidy package from lawmakers for about $500 million, $348 million from the state and $150 million from Minneapolis. Surprisingly enough, Wilf gave the Vikings a $50 million grant to help finance their stadium.

All of this happened while more than half of Minneapolis schools were struggling with budget cuts. Wilf really couldn’t have found a worse time to ask Minnesotans to cough up some money.

While the NFL rakes in millions of dollars every year in revenue, stadiums actually have a negative impact on local economies.
City residents’ income actually decreases after the construction of a new sports stadium.

The Wall Street Journal reported in 2011 that 16 percent of the annual budget in Hamilton County, Ohio, is still going toward the Cincinnati Bengals’ stadium 10 years after it was built.

Either the people of Hamilton County are obsessed with football, or the NFL kings are forcing these poor residents into giving up more money than they want to.

As if the stadium issue isn’t worrisome enough, NFL ticket prices are shooting through the stratosphere.
The Chicago Bears lead the league in one category: ticket prices. The average price of a Bears’ ticket is a whopping $446.
I could think of five things off the top of my head that I would rather spend $446 on. Few fans actually have enough money to afford this.
NFL teams need to stop worrying about what their stadiums look like.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers might have a gargantuan cannon that fires off each time the Bucs score, but it doesn’t appear to have made an impact on the Buccaneers’ football skills, as they stand at 0-7 this season.

The front offices of each NFL team need to concentrate on how they will make their team better the following year, not what their stadium will look like.

It’s not what you look like, it’s how you act.

The Buccaneers are robbing their fans of a promising season. When it comes down to wins and losses, no one cares about the the aesthetically-pleasing cannon.

The Bucs fall short, just like the Vikings, who have a 1-6 record in 2013.

Fans pay good money to watch their teams play. Even if they can’t afford a Lamborghini or a trip to the Bahamas, they still have the opportunity to watch their favorite NFL team battle it out each week during the fall.

Dear NFL, please stop focusing on remodeling your stadiums and worry instead about next year’s draft.

After all, most NFL owners think the Vince Lombardi Trophy is more important than a $1 billion stadium.

 

Some information gathered from Sean Conboy’s article, “The NFL is Running a Billion-Dollar Con” from the Pittsburgh Magazine.