Friday, April 16, 2010

Welfare for rich people

The York family, who own the San Francisco 49ers, are leaving San Francisco in a snit after the City of San Francisco refused to give them corporate welfare to replace the perfectly functional but "obsolete" Candlestick Park. The deal being that Candlestick has too many "cheap seats" and not enough expensive corporate sky boxes that could be auctioned off for millions per year to enable the Yorks to pay their mediocre on-field "talent" more millions than they're worth.

So here come the Yorks into little Santa Clara, who they're trying to con into building a new football stadium for the 49ers on a patch of city-owned land near Great America Theme Park. In the process, they're spending millions on glossy lies and bullshit to gull the small-town Santa Clarans into mortgaging their future for the sake of a gigantic white elephant that will be used eight (8) times per year and otherwise sit empty.

Lies? Well, yes. Lies like:

  • "It will put Santa Clara on the map." Yeah, like the Dallas Cowboys put Arlington, Texas, on the map? Hello, can any of you find Arlington on the map and tell me any benefit it's gotten from having the Cowboys stadium there? Santa Clara has a nice high-tech center in that area, Oracle/Sun, Yahoo, Nortel, etc. all have major facilities there, how will a stadium help Santa Clara gain more high-tech business than it's already achieved? Ain't happenin'.
  • "It won't cost tax money." Bullshit. The 49ers are leaving San Francisco because San Francisco refuses to spend tax money on their stadium, and they think Santa Clara is gullible enough to go for that? The 49ers are raiding taxpayer funds big-time -- the city proposes raiding redevelopment funds intended for redeveloping depressed warehouse areas (funds that will need to be replaced via, duh, TAXES) *plus* raiding the municipal utility's capital improvements fund, which will need to be replaced via, duh, raising electrical rates (same damned thing as a tax).
  • "It will create jobs". For eight weekends a year. Low wage jobs. And for four of those weekends, it will *destroy* jobs, because Great America will be forced to close down on game days. Great America currently earns a large amount of money on late summer / early fall weekends, and will be forced to lay off hundreds of workers on those days that the stadium has streets clogged and Great America's parking lots full of cars illegally parking there. And if this eliminates Great America's profitability altogether, Great America will close altogether -- which will cost thousands of jobs. If you want to create jobs, use that parking lot to lure the corporate headquarters of some major technology company, not for a white elephant stadium.
  • "It will generate millions in property taxes for local schools." Yeah right. Pull the other leg. Like I said, you want millions in property taxes, get another high-tech company in there to complement the dozens of other high-tech companies that have their corporate HQ or U.S. offices in the vicinity, such as Yahoo, Sun/Oracle, Marvell, Nortel, etc.
  • "It will be good for the city." Yeah, like that stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, where two major league teams play, which has turned East Rutherford into paradise on Earth... well... maybe not.
The reality is that every single NFL stadium in America built over the past three decades has been a gigantic boondoggle. They've all made promises like the 49ers are making, and they all broke those promises and left taxpayers with the choice of paying hundreds of millions of dollars in cost overruns, or having a half-completed construction site cluttering their city. Every single team has promised that there would be no taxpayer dollars used to operate or maintain the stadium, and every single team has broken that promise. The 49ers are leaving San Francisco because the city won't subsidize them with taxpayer money, yet they promise they will stay in Santa Clara without needing taxpayer subsidies? Bullsh*t. They're lying. Their past history -- and the past history of NFL teams in general that have made these same exact promises -- shows that it's going to be an expensive drain on the city treasury and that public services like police, fire, etc. are all going to suffer because of the money drain. They make all these promises in these glossy brochures, but promises are cheap, and promises are empty. Look at their history, people. These rich NFL owners are welfare whores, and once they get their hooks into your city, they will suck your city dry with their incessant demands for corporate welfare and their threats to leave if they don't get the welfare they want. San Francisco is showing these welfare whores the door, and Santa Clara wants to be their next victim? Talk about small-town rubes! Siiiiiiigh....

-- Badtux the Welfare-sniffin' Penguin

For more information:


  1. "The reality is that every single NFL stadium in America built over the past three decades has been a gigantic boondoggle."

    Not just NFL stadiums, most new stadiums are huge welfare bundles for the rich. I think maybe when the middle class is completely destroyed and the poor are swimming the moats the rich will wake up. Maybe before their heads are one pikes, but maybe not. I dunno, and I don't care any more.

  2. Nunya nailed it. Privitize the gains, socialize the losses.

    The rich will never change, and are just fine with the destruction of the middle class, thank you very much. No need to worry about heads on spikes. They'll have armed guards imported from Uzbekistan guarding the gates against riff-raff like us.

    The one exception I know of was Bill Davidson who built the palace of Auburn Hills for the Pistons with his own ample money. It gets used for lots of concerts and other events.

    Alas, he died a few months ago, and everything is changing hands.


  3. You are right, Badtux. I live in Los Angeles and we may be one of the biggest sports centers in the country but we don't have an NFL team because we will not put up public funds to have one.

    NFL owners are just looking to suck off the public tit while pocketing millions of your dollars.

    And you know what, we don't have any games blacked out!

  4. This situation is sounding eerily familiar. Maybe the Yorks are taking a page from Irsay's play book. Let me say that you are not exaggerating about those parasites. With the deal Indy got, one might as well say that the city gave him the stadium. The greedy bastard gets a cut for every event held in it including the recent final four games.

  5. Kind of reminds me of a Walmart.
    Next thing you know they'll have smiley faces on their uniforms.

    Speaking of being pissed off, I'd like to have the money to see one Pro game be it baseball or football.
    I can't afford the Hot Dog!

  6. Santa Clara is a small city of 100,000 people run by a part-time city council that is largely made up of small businesspeople. They are completely out of their league when dealing with big-time corporate welfare parasites like the Yorks. The current stadium deal ends up basically giving the farm to the Yorks -- and that's assuming that the Yorks don't come back at the city for even more money beyond the $300M or so they propose looting from city coffers, the deal has plenty of "gotchas" that could be used for the Yorks to loot more money out of the city. See the links at the end of my post.

    Every recent stadium that I've looked at has been a financial disaster for the city where it was built. Santa Clara needs a new library for its Rivermark neighborhood and needs to redevelop the moribund warehouse and R&D district near the railroad tracks, not engage in risky and expensive adventures like this. A small city like Santa Clara is simply out of its league here, period.

    - Badtux the Welfare-scryin' Penguin

  7. There is not a city anywhere that has a sports franchise and has not had this crap run on them. What you need is some good community organizing. If Wal-Mart can be stopped, so can the Yorks. Of course success would merely condemn some other town to their rapacity.

  8. For about ten or fifteen bucks Santa Clara could buy a US atlas and suggest that the Yorks look elsewhere. When I lived in Phoenix, we voted overwhelmingly against sports stadiums and still ended up with two welfare for the rich projects.


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