Why subsidize millionaires and billionaires?

by CalWatchdog Staff | March 8, 2010 8:57 pm

Here’s two cheers for Democratic Assemblywoman Lori SaldaƱa of San Diego. She’s introduced a new law[1] that would ban stadium subsidies from taxpayers for the NFL — or any sports league — if it a “blackout” rule. Under the NFL’s current rule, if a game isn’t sold out within 72 hours of kickoff, broadcasts of it are blacked out for a 75-mile radius around the stadium.

I don’t give her three cheers — withholding one — because the ban should be comprehensive, whether or not leagues have blackout rules or not.

Today’s major-league owners are billionaires, with most of the NFL teams[2] by themselves worth more than $1 billion.

The median salary in the NFL currently is $770,000[3].

Julius Peppers of the Carolina Panthers gets $16.7 million a year[4].

So, why should taxpayers subsidize the NFL? Supposedly, a city “loses” something if it doesn’t have an NFL team. Well, when I came to Southern California in 1987, we had two NFL teams: the Raiders and the Rams. Both left. I haven’t missed them even for a second.

If these millionaires and billionaires want new stadiums, they should pony up the money themselves.

— John Seiler

(Note: this was corrected to reflect that the bill would ban such subsidies for all leagues with blackouts, not just the NFL. — J.S.)

  1. introduced a new law: http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2010/mar/08/assemblywoman-seeks-subsidy-blackout-for-nfl-teams/
  2. most of the NFL teams: http://www.forbes.com/lists/2008/30/sportsmoney_nfl08_NFL-Team-Valuations_Rank.html
  3. $770,000: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_the_average_salary_of_an_NFL_football_player
  4. gets $16.7 million a year: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Who_is_the_highest_paid_player_in_the_NFL

Source URL: https://calwatchdog.com/2010/03/08/why-subsidize-millionaires-and-billionaires/