March 19, 2007, - 1:24 pm

Brokeback Stadium: Gay Marriage v. Tax-Funded Sports Arena for Billionaires

By Debbie Schlussel
I’ve always opposed public funding for sports stadiums, arenas, etc. Neither you nor I get the public to fund and build our office building. So, why should billionaires get that for their millionaire employees to work and play in extreme luxury? And beside that, by its very definition, public funding for these facilities is always a spending and tax increase. If a team can’t afford a new arena, then neither can taxpayers.
Sports teams do not bring an increase in good-paying jobs. Their jobs, in fact, pay far below market wages–because of the psychological lure that brings up demand for sports-related jobs at any wage. And many jobs associated with sports teams are seasonal–such as food vendors and security, who are soon on the unemployment lines and the taxpayer dole.

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But that didn’t seem to bother Seattle. It looked like the Seattle NBA Team, the SuperSonics, was going to get a $300 million tax subsidy to build a new arena. Until–Until it was disclosed that two out-of-state minority owners of the Supersonics–HORRORS!–gave $1 million to a group fighting gay marriage. Tom Ward and Aubrey McClendon, Oklahoma oil and gas execs who each hold a 20% stake in the team, gave more than $1 million to Americans United to Preserve Marriage, run by conservative Gary Bauer.
Now, suddenly, liberal Washington State legislators–who should be against any tax subsidies for sports teams–are opposing subsidies for the stadium on the grounds of the donations to oppose gay marriage. They’re being called “homophobes” (while an openly gay Oklahoma officeholder says they aren’t because they gave money to his campaign). That’s absurd.
The fact that these men have $1 million to give to any political cause tells me that they have $1 million they could have given to build a new building for their basketball team, which should not be funded by taxpayers.
But whether or not it’s to oppose gay marriage should be irrelevant. And it’s a due process and equal protection concern, too.

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6 Responses

Yet another example of LIBERAL “tolerance”, “compassion”, and “inclusiveness”.
Transaltion: HYPOCRITES!
In order to be assured taxpayer subsidies for their new stadium, those two minority-stake owners should have given their money to either of the LIBERALS’ two favorite institutions;
1. The ACLU,
2. NAMBLA.

Thee_Bruno on March 19, 2007 at 2:07 pm

I’ve just come to realization that the America we knew and loved is already far gone. Just waiting for the implosion to begin.

the_don on March 19, 2007 at 3:03 pm

Seattle wants nothing to do with the Sonics. Last November, voters approved a measure that forbids public subsidies for sports teams. The Sonics ownership found willing dupes in nearby Renton, who turned right around and asked for money from the state (apparently the folks in the owners’ home of Oklahoma City aren’t dumb enough to fall for this kind of transparent ruse). The perverse outcome may be that Seattle residents, already the most-taxed residents of Washington, may end up paying the lions share of a subsidy to build a stadium in another city.

robearle on March 19, 2007 at 5:33 pm

Why don’t they move the supersonics to las vegas…since I keep hearing about a franchise there.

Squirrel3D on March 19, 2007 at 7:01 pm

I don’t understand the worlds obsession/pre-occupation with professional sports. My very own brother has season tickets for his family to the Las Vegas NV pro hockey team, and I still don’t understand.
I do appreciate the outstanding skills pro athletes possess.
“When I was a child, I thought like a child…” (?)

Dr.Dale on March 19, 2007 at 7:51 pm

Seattle has quite the history with tax payer funded stadiums. Mariners, Safeco Field was voted down twice by the tax payers before the Libs went behind the tax payers backs and approved it anyway. Just like they do with all our initiatives.
And Renton, the worst place for a stadium, sits between a lake and a grid locked freeway interchange. And what time do the games start?
The Seattle area is already a traffic nightmare b’cuz democrats have issues fixing roads that carry SUV’s. Yet they always manage to steal our money while promising to fix them.
WA State is run by liars and cheaters (US Atty Mckay).
Someone needs to rescue the WA State Rep Party, I give them my money, what else can one single mom do?

chardonnay on March 21, 2007 at 11:27 pm

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