You’re not going to believe this – well, wait, it’s 2017 in America, so of course you’re going to believe it – but the last-gasp effort to keep the Raiders in Oakland is being championed by . . .
. . . wait for it . . .
And now we will wait while Bay Area Raider fans decide whether to dance or throw up. Or throw up while dancing.
The new Republican budget that the President says he wants passed by the end of November includes a provision that would remove the tax-exempt status from bonds used to pay for stadiums for professional sports teams.
And in a neat bit of politicking by the President in his continued attempt to stick a finger in the NFL’s eye up to the third knuckle, the date listed on the legislation for removal of tax-exempt status on bonds issued is November 2, which neatly prevented Nevada politicians (or politicians from other states beholden to the NFL or its constituent owners) from forestalling the process entirely. The Las Vegas bonds have been approved but not yet issued, and ground is expected to be broken later this week.
As it is, the Nevada pols who want the stadium plan to go through have options that include amendments to the tax bill that would remove the stadium bond provision entirely, or grandfather in stadium bonds already approved (like the Raider deal). Given the complexities of budget work in Washington, and the President’s sub-dismal legislative record, the chances of the Raiders actually being forced to stay in Oakland remain less than 50 percent.
That said, the tax exemptions for stadiums have always been a particularly nauseating part of the marriage between sports and the politics that separate cities and citizens from their hard-earned money. There is plenty of perfectly logical reasons why this particular chunk of legislation ought to be approved.
The question remains, though, whether it will survive as is, be eliminated as part of normal budget negotiations, or be amended so that the Raiders can beat feet out of town before the door shuts on this particular dodge.
So there you go, Raider fans. Your path to retaining what you always thought was yours is manned by the one person you never thought you could trust to do anyone below millionaire status a solid.
We now return you to your bye week activities. Including, if need be, finding a heavy-duty bucket.