Vaguely threatening fans for not spending enough is as much of a tradition as Steve Tasker getting stubbed by the alleged Pro Football Hall of Fame. The poor Pegulas can’t afford a container for their collectibles, which means they have to beg for help. Actually, it’s more of a demand, unless paying taxes is voluntary.
The Buffalo Bills may want to play in their namesake city, an honor for which they’ll attempt to charge their home state. They can barely afford ramen.
Take a lesson in mathematics for a team that’s lost 58 more regular season games than it’s won. The supposed economic addition created by filtering money through Albany actually subtracts, unless decades of trying to force prosperity are just about to pay off. Ask the legions of Bills fans who headed to North Carolina in free agency.
Pretend a new home wouldn’t get built to ensure panic. Dare the owners to attempt fleeing because fans don’t pay enough. Does this franchise not collect enough in purchases?
The Pegulas can cough up a few nickels on an expense that let’s just say will be good for their business. You mean customers will show up? Owners can follow their own example and put up any structure they want as they did with the HarborCenter. Customers paying for ice time and chicken on weck justify the initial building costs.
A sparkling barn would help the neighborhood, or at least the portions of it that serve ale. The amazing part of building for profit is how needs get met and others prosper when people attend to their own needs. Mighty Taco makes Western New Yorkers happy while creating jobs and filling vacant spaces, yet nobody expects subsidies for ‘Buffito’ construction.
Paying for it is the easy part as long as you never see a bill. There can’t be a charge unless it’s itemized. Billing the group is how the state maintains such a thrifty budget. And a scheme must be a good deal if taxpayers are forced to contribute. Yet somehow compulsory participation is not typically associated with profitable ventures.
An actual worthwhile deal should attract capital naturally. As it stands, coercion shouldn’t be necessary to build office space for sports teams. The NFL has to panhandle.
As with wondering how the Bills would have fared if they had taken Brian Orakpo instead of Aaron Maybin, it’s important to note what you don’t see. While a new field surrounded by stands is easy to spot, ponder the things never built because of money drained.
But don’t fear the Bills going bankrupt, as they have patrons. Those who attend events could fund the place where they enjoy spending free time. Paying for what you like is meaner than being in a division with New England.
Just like it’s easy for fans to propose trades when they’re jobs aren’t on the line, people spend more efficiently when they have a stake. A government as ineffective as Rob Johnson isn’t motivated to account for money doled from the pile they’ve collected. The same people who think athletes are overpaid act like that money is just sitting around in a warehouse waiting to be distributed by its benevolent keeper.
Opposition to pro subsidies offers a chance for the rare bit of bipartisanship. Liberals want government spending on things other than sports businesses while conservatives are for people not being taxed in the first place.
Yet an issue that seemingly draws together disparate philosophies faces opposition from those who curiously think New York State makes good investments paired with panicky types who think their favorite team will flee to Saint Louis if ransom demands aren’t met.
One can support the Bills while denying them taxpayer support. In fact, many who take this stance have sunk much of their entertainment budgets and a good deal of the rent and grocery money into items featuring the team logo. Maybe use some of those funds to build a new coliseum.
Sports enthusiasts already fund their favorite clubs sufficiently to make a venue viable. It’s time to hear from people who adore this team and would love a stadium downtown yet don’t feel like they should be forced to pay for its construction any more than they should have to pay higher taxes to fund a Whole Foods even if they enjoy hyperorganic kale.
The Pegulas should be ashamed to ask for welfare. Spare a thought for billionaire owners who can’t find financing for a structure used constantly by their business. If a new address is a justified expenditure, getting a loan should be as easy as Jason Botterill losing a trade. They could contact the bank with its name on the venue their other team uses.
Editor’s babble: Thanks to Anthony Bialy for always finding a way to make us giggle. You can find Anthony on Twitter @AnthonyBialy.