There should actually be three certainties in life now; taxes, death, and Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman giving his opinion. The Sherminator is at it again, this time ripping into the idea of taxpayer paid for stadiums on John Clayton's ESPN radio show in Seattle.
"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."
I can already hear the cheers and the jeers at this statement from Richard Sherman. The "hell yeah!" for the people who don't believe in stadiums being built for private sports teams by public money and the "shut up!" from those that believe that stadiums pay for themselves in other ways than the actual dollar amounts associated to it.
This is a controversial issue, especially in Oakland. As Raiders fans already know, some NFL owners are not billionaires and can't afford to build themselves a stadium. If you think about it though, a person could look at it as something similar to if you can find a Porsche at an affordable price you still better be able to afford the upkeep on it too.
I have seen the reports that stadiums just become a drain on taxpayer money too and I get it that there are other things that must be paid for that are more important. However, the community impact of having a team is not negligible. People try to figure out an actual dollar amount associated to having these stadiums in town but not everything is quantifiable by dollar signs.
The amount of camaraderie, the amount of time the team and the players spend helping their communities, and the ability to provide dreams for kids that need them to survive bad environments are not quantifiable into a dollar amount. Do you think Rome had The Coliseum built to make money? They built it to satisfy their citizens in a different way, they built it as entertainment for the masses.
These teams draw in both the rich and poor for many different reasons. It's the owners of the teams and the players that are making the most money off of it, but the City is benefiting too. In a perfect world the owners would build and pay for everything themselves always without complaint, but that isn't realistic yet as long as places like Vegas are eager to pay for them to join the exclusivity of having an NFL team.
Either way, no matter what Richard Sherman says, don't believe for one second that the owners are the only ones who benefit from their teams. If they were then the fans in St. Louis wouldn't be so hurt right now with the Rams leaving and the fans in San Diego and Oakland wouldn't be so mad that their teams might leave too.
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