My Rowdy Friends
Zygi Wilf has a net worth of $1.3 billion; he owns the Minnesota Vikings football team. Alex Spanos has a net worth of $1.1 billion; he owns the San Diego Chargers. Both men want brand new pleasure palaces for their teams and both want taxpayers to carry a heavy part of the bill.
The Chargers are looking for an $800 million dollar monument with a retractable roof (because, heaven know, the weather in San Diego is so iffy). They expect local government to carry the bulk of the expense, some $500 million.
The Vikings plan on spending up to $1.2 billion for a place to play their eight home games per year. They want taxpayers to carry $600 million, or more, in the cost of the building.
The arguments are always the same:
- Appeal to Penury. They need a new stadium "to stay financially competitive." (It ought to be funny watching billionaires plead poverty. It's not.)
- Appeal to Passion. The community has to show its love for the team or we'll leave. (The traditional gold-digger's song; see Sarah Palin above.)
- Appeal to Fairness. The Dallas Cowboys got a new publicly financed stadium, I deserve one too. (Two wrongs don't make a right.)
But, the Federal Reserve Board is in on this scam to feed free money to their buds.