Wednesday, July 15, 2015


He's funny, but he's also telling the truth. He just delivers it in a funny way so that it doesn't hurt so much. This clip is about how sport teams hold towns hostage until the taxpayers cough up enough money to build a new stadium. As any Buffalo Bills fan can remember, there has been a long-standing struggle to keep the Bills in Buffalo amid numerous threats that the team owner, the late Ralph Wilson, dropped until he got what he wanted. Now, the new Bills owners are talking about a new waterfront stadium which brings many of us back over forty years ago when such a stadium idea was mired in corruption and politics.

It also brings to mind the Canadian Motor Speedway which has threatened to pull up stakes unless some level of government (the taxpayers) provides it with infrastructure and roads to the race track. Considering what other sports teams have been able to coerce local taxpayers to fund, the CMA is not far off the mark in its demands. 

Please pay close attention to the myth that such a new facility automatically breathes new economic life into a community. That is totally false. Here in Fort Erie we have heard that refrain sung many times by developers and entrepreneurs. It has been sung to a fare-thee-well by the people behind the CMA. In the John Oliver video, someone said that the towns would be better off if the millions invested in sports arenas was simply dropped from a plane on the populace. The people would benefit more from that than they would from a new stadium.

Think about it. And ask yourself this: why the delay in the building of the race track? Are the Middle Eastern owners waiting for cash-strapped Ontarians to make the first move and supply the massive infrastructure improvements before the Middle Eastern owners actually start to build? Were the millions in tax breaks not enough?