It's Funny how The Raiders Stadium is Becoming a Political Football in Nevada
Politics and Football these days are never a good mix. Of course these days Politics permeate every level of daily life which is a sad and pathetic statement, but not a conversation for a Sports themed website.
The latest crossing of the two Sports is occurring in the State of Nevada where the Oakland Raiders $1.8 billion dollar palace has become a topic of conversation amongst the multiple politicians running for Governor in the State.
Now mind you, the opulent palace to the oblong pigskin has already been approved by the current administration and will require Nevada to chip in some $750 million of the State's Hotel/Motel tax to the structure's cost just to have it built. The Raiders are dropping $850 million and the NFL adding the extra $200 million requested for the project.
However absolutely none of the aforementioned expenditures will address the infrastructure needs required for such a building.
And that is where the Politicians enter the picture.
One Governor candidate--Republican Dan Schwartz says if elected, he won't allow the state to contribute a penny towards infrastructure. Other Republicans in the race haven't said a word about the issue. Schwartz however is looking for um, a voter or polling "Push" on the topic as he currently is NOT his party's front runner.
The thought such a thing is a "Political Football" or way to get votes so to speak is not a surprise. Politicians from both sides of the aisle use projects such as these to appeal to like minded voters. Many times, worms that they are, the Politicians will speak to both sides of the issue while actually doing what is in their own best interest.
Public funding for billionaire NFL owners is a touchy subject and the Raiders stadium did not and does not come without risk. There are many question as to whether Vegas is able to support a second professional team. The NHL Golden Knights have been a rousing success due in part to the bizarre NHL Expansion rules which allowed them to be competitive from day one.
The Raiders are a different issue. An established team with a history of being a shitty team for roughly the past 15-years, they've struggled to be a playoff level team. They are in limbo as they play out the string in their current home in Oakland. But the Raiders also have the benefit of one of America's most loyal and rabid fanbases, something I've got a sense will go away in Sin City.
I could go on forever about the insanity of City's and/or states shouldering the burden of financing professional sports stadiums for owners who clearly could afford it themselves. It's a form of welfare, exploited by people who are experts at it.
No politician wants to be the one who is blamed for "Losing" a Sports Franchise for not funding a "New Palace" for said team. And because of that, the politicians are willing to forego basic infrastructure needs, educational funding and other needs in order to divert tax money to fund said project.
Reporters and others flabbergasted by the sheer expenditure on such a building often forget there are roads, bridges, walkways and other costs not included in the building which are involved. Figuring out how to get some 70,000 people to the same place at the same time can be a very, very expensive proposition.
It's something nobody talks about and doesn't get the publicity but in this sense Schwartz may actually be on to something. Cut off the infrastructure funding and you've got a really big building that looks pretty on TV...but one where nobody actually has the ability to get to.