Richard Sherman wants billionaires, not taxpayers, to pay for stadiums
Stadium financing was in the news again recently
Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman has never been one to shy away from speaking his mind. When an issue comes up that he feels is important, Sherman makes his feelings known, and always does so articulately.
The latest issue to pique Sherman's interest is stadium financing, an issue that is obviously of great importance to people that make their living as Sherman does.
Per ThinkProgress, Sherman went on ESPN 710 Seattle and, when asked what he'd do if elected to the White House, he brought up stadium financing as a way to get the country out of debt.
"I'd get us out of this deficit," Sherman said. "I'd stop spending billions of taxpayer dollars on stadiums and probably get us out of debt and maybe make the billionaires who actually benefit from the stadiums pay for them. That kind of seems like a system that would work for me."
The stadium financing issue is one that his been in the NFL news lately. It was just the other day that commissioner Roger Goodell stated that the Bills have to "stay up" with other NFL stadiums in order to remain a competitive team -- and stay in Buffalo.
"I think that's one of the things Terry (Pegula) is going through, and trying to see," Goodell said, per ESPN. "What does it take to make sure that the Bills remain here on a successful basis? That's the objective, and I know that's their commitment. We fully support that. We have league funding that's available to help in that kind of circumstance. Stadiums are important, just to making sure that the team can continue to compete, not only throughout the NFL but also compete in this environment. Because we've got great facilities here now and the Bills have to stay up with that."
Typically with this kind of thing, the owners and the commissioner put the onus on the municipality to come up with most of the funding for the stadium, letting the billionaire owner foot only 30 percent of the bill. (Per Greg Easterbrook's book, King of Sports: Football's Impact on America) There are numerous case studies that explain the damage this practice causes to the communities that are forced to pony up, contrary to what owners and others typically lead the public to believe. (There are short-term benefits to communities, such as construction jobs and the civic pride benefit of being able to keep the team in town, but most studies show those benefits are outweighed by all the costs associated with building the stadiums.)
Could Sherman actually get the tax benefit for stadium building eliminated if he were elected president?
Leaving aside the fact that Sherman is not yet eligible for the job (you have to be 35 years old), the answer would likely depend on the composition of the Senate and House of Representatives when Sherman took office. President Obama tried to include a similar provision in his budget just last year, but it was shot down.
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