Jacksonville residents aren’t interested in paying for renovations to Jaguars stadium
One of the strangest aspects of the stadium-financing game is that the taxpayers who give free money to American oligarchs would never approve doing so if/when given the chance to do so via public ballot.
The latest example of that is happening in Jacksonville, where the Jaguars hope to get a billion or so in public money to go along with a billion or so in private money to renovate the team’s stadium.
According to Timothy Gibbons of the Jacksonville Business Journal, a poll conducted by the University of North Florida revealed that more than half of the city’s residents would “prefer the city sell EverBank Stadium and the surrounding land” in lieu of using “city money [to] pay for the stadium to be renovated.”
Only six percent of the respondents — SIX PERCENT — said the city should devote $1 billion in public money to the renovation. Selling the stadium to the team and letting the team pay for the renovations itself received support from 51 percent of those who responded.
Roughly a third support spending up to $500 million. But 47 percent said no to spending $1 billion, even if it means losing the team. Roughly 46 percent said the city should spend the $1 billion if the alternative to renovation is relocation.
The biggest takeaway for the team is obvious. They need to work with the elected officials to do this in a way that prevents the measure from ever being placed on a ballot. If so, it will lose.
That’s not just the continuation of the ongoing national trend where politicians work very hard to subvert the will of the electorate. Most people in every NFL city aren’t football fans. Even many of those who are have come to realize that it shouldn’t be for them to finance playgrounds for the billionaires who make millions and millions in profit from having the ability to stage football games there.
And if the Jaguars can’t get what they want, owner Shad Khan will have to decide whether to foot the bill on his own (as Dolphins owner Stephen Ross eventually did when upgrading his own stadium in Miami) or move the team to a new home. Perhaps to a place where his team already plays one home game per year.