Look at them yo-yos. That’s the way you do it.
The Buffalo Bills have officially gotten $600 million from New York for a new stadium in Buffalo. The powers-that-be included the payment within the state’s $220 billion 2022-23 budget.
Not everyone was on board.
“Our public schools got less than the Buffalo Bills stadium,” Assemblywoman Yuh-Line Niou (D-Manhattan) said, via Michael Petro of the Buffalo News. “The climate bill, the climate project that we really wanted, also got less than the Buffalo Bills project. Is that what we stand for? This is a moment where we have to look at where our priorities are.”
Although arguments can be made both for and against using that much taxpayer money to subsidize the billionaires who own NFL teams, a simple reality encapsulates the current mood of the country when it comes to projects like these. No up-or-down public vote on using public money for a sports stadium would prevail.
The problem is that most of these venues are funded by elected officials without a specific election as to whether the money should be used. If, for example, the federal government came up with a way to craft a Constitutionally-viable mandate that all projects of this nature must be approved at the ballot box, the NFL would be boxed into a corner. The money for nothing would end, immediately.
Until that happens, and there’s currently no reason to think it will, the billionaires who generally have figured out how to get what they can when they can how they can will keep passing the hat through statehouses and city councils with the not-so-subtle threat/promise that if the local politicians don’t step up to keep the team in town, some other group of politicians will do what’s necessary to lure the team away.