WWW Opinion Times

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Of Stadiums, Public Funds and "Pull-Tab" Machines

It turns out Washington, D.C. is not the only city facing stadium financing issues. Indianapolis is running around in the same circle according to Joshua Clayborn of In The Agora.

Now, I love the Colts largely because I am a Tennessee Vols fan, and I love Peyton Manning. But Indianapolis Star writer Bob Kravitz' thoughts (as quoted by Joshua) are priceless:
You think of all the pressing public services that go unfunded in this city and state, and yet, when it comes to a big, honking pleasure dome for our football team, our government is bursting with creativity.

Consider the irony: Our mayor, Bart Peterson, came into office riding a white horse named Family Values, promising to rid the streets of Sodom -- sorry, Indianapolis -- of porn shops, lingerie modeling boutiques and other monuments to degradation and debauchery.

Now, here he is, just a few years later, an expanded convention center and a new stadium in his sights, and he's gone libertarian on us. Today, he wants pull-tab machines, or basically slot machines, which eventually will turn into full-fledged casinos. What's next? Legalize prostitution and use the tax proceeds? How about decriminalizing marijuana and putting those tax dollars to good use, maybe for schools or infrastructure?
That about sums up my disagreement with taxpayer funding of stadiums (with due consideration of the definition of the term "public services").