September 21, 2006, - 1:18 pm
By Debbie Schlussel
With all the news stories in the world–Ahmadinejad & Chavez Double-Teaming America, Jihad against the Pope, the House Voter ID bill–USA Today chose the most important item of the day as its cover story, today:
Buried toward the end of the story is the money-shot–an answer to the question we all deserve to know about:
Who paid for the $185 million in improvements, repairs, and reconstruction of the Superdome–the office of millionaires, billionaires, and gazillionaires?
Was it the billionaires who own teams throughout the NFL, including the New Orleans Saints that are housed in the Superdome? NOPE. According to USA Today, the NFL gazillionaires donated only $15 million of the $185 million cost–a drop in the bucket to these fatcats.
Was it the millionaires who play in the Superdome at all Saints’ home games, every football season–and owe their millions to those who come to see the games and buy team merchandise? NOPE.
We can’t have billionaires and millionaires putting money out of their own pockets, their own wallets. That just wouldn’t be right.
So who paid for the newly glimmering Superdome–$170 million of $185 million in Superdome costs?
Yup. Taxpayers paid money in the name of public assistance programs for relief from Katrina and other disasters. Who knew the “public assistance” was not for poor, homeless, downtrodden hurricane victims, but for . . . NFL gazillionaires?! Should “public assistance” go to improved scoreboards, upgraded suites and club lounges, and “leatherette” upholstery? Taxpayers got soaked.
From the article:
The money being used for this was from the public-assistance program from FEMA on insurance disasters.
Here’s what your money went to pay for. Does this sound like “hurricane relief” or “public assistance” to you?:
Besides repairs, improvements and upgrades were made during construction. About $42 million was spent. The most noticeable change for fans will be new scoreboards.
* Two larger (41% bigger) video boards (27 by 48 feet) in the end zones, with high definition quality.
* Four LED ribbon boards, or video halo boards (3 feet, 6 inches by 193 feet).
* Four color scoreboards (8 feet by 44 feet) replace a black-and-white system. Located in four corners in the 400 level.
* All 38 concession stands and three kitchens modernized with stainless steel. . . .
* 8,000 club-level seats and 4,000 box suite seats replaced with leatherette seats.
Future renovations (September 2006-August 2007)
* Four club lounges, each 19,000 square feet (in design) in each of the four corners.
* 137 suites remodeled and refurbished.
Your tax dollars at “work.” USA Today’s headline is incorrect. New Orleans isn’t throwing the party at the Superdome. You are.
Tags: All Saints' Day, Debbie Schlussel, Federal Emergency Management Agency, football, insurance disasters, Katrina Relief Go, National Football League, New Orleans, New Orleans Saints, NFL, stainless steel, USA Today, USD