Let Them Eat Football: Oakland Fires One-Fifth Of Police Department Due To Budget Crisis . . . But Gives NFL and MLB Over $17 Million

115px-CA_-_Oakland_Police250px-Oakland_Raiders.svgOakland, California is in the midst of a crime wave and remains the fifth-most crime ridden city in America. Nevertheless, the city fired one-fourth of its police department — over 200 officers. However, in the latest example of the lunacy of public subsidies for professional football and baseball teams, the city is forking over $17.3 million for the National Football League’s Oakland Raiders and Major League Baseball’s Athletics. These owners are racking in huge profits but Oakland and other cities continue to subsidize the teams despite studies (here and here) showing that these teams do not bring in enough revenue to pay for the huge debt associated with new stadiums. However, the teams grab of millions from an economically crippled city explains why the team is called “the Raiders.”

To make matters even more bizarre, the Raiders are pressuring the city to replace the 46-year-old stadium or possibly lose the Raiders. The team’s owners are looking at nearby Santa Clara. In the meantime, financially strapped Los Angeles has backed a $1.5 billion stadium hoping to lure the NFL to the city. If the Raiders leave Oakland, it will leave the city with about $145 million in debt. It is astonishing that cities continue to yield to this legal form of extortion by NFL owners who use local fans to raid the coffers of cities and states. Of course, that loyalty is entirely one-sided. They make it clear that they will leave cities without hesitation is there is more money elsewhere. Art Modell showed how the bottom-line and not tradition guides owners in his decision to suddenly move the Cleveland Browns to Baltimore, Maryland during the 1996 NFL season.

Now politicians are shutting down educational and social welfare programs in order to fork over millions to NFL owners. Oakland even places football above public safety — the ultimate let them eat Football moment.

Source: Bloomberg

38 thoughts on “Let Them Eat Football: Oakland Fires One-Fifth Of Police Department Due To Budget Crisis . . . But Gives NFL and MLB Over $17 Million”

  1. Something nick and I can agree on.

    This is the very worst kind of corporate welfare.

    Let the wealthy pay for their own damn toys.

  2. I’m a Packer owner[one share] and we are the best owners! mespo’s Steelers have a good owner..Obama supporter also. Jerry Jones is satan.

  3. Caterbo, The 49ers are getting a new stadium. The Chargers do play in a former baseball field but have had it to themselves for ~6 years. They too are looking for a handout and a new stadium. They’re using, “We’ll have to move to LA if you don’t cough up the dough” strategy. They use it because it almost always works. The NFL having no team for decades is curious don’t you think? Well..it serves the purpose of the greedy owners as a trump card to play when they’re holding their cities hostage for a sweet heart deal The Vikings just successfully used LA to get a new stadium from Mn taxpayers. The Chargers will also be succesfull. They are shameless welfare kings.

  4. Oakland, and everywhere else, has too many cops, and too many laws.

    Police – n. Armed force for protection and participation.

  5. Couldn’t one call NFL owners, lobbyists”? They usually get their way with cities. The thing that also stands out with NFL teams in Calif compared to the rest, they play in the worst stadiums. All 3 are baseball stadiums.

  6. “However, the teams grab of millions from an economically crippled city explains why the team is called “the Raiders.””
    Touche! Oakland shares a border, and lots of its crime, with my town.

    A federal judge has appointed a compliance director to supervise the Oakland Police Department’s response to a 2003 lawsuit.
    We know Oakland as The City That Can’t.

    Oakland has now risen to public recognition on this blog!
    Go Raiders!

  7. Oakland needs to get its act together and stop caving in to sport teams and corporations demands for tax give aways and special deals. If they keep this up they will be fighting Detroit for the title of worst run cities in America. Besides, who would want the Raiders representing their city?

  8. Dredd, The rich and famous celebs who attend award shows get gift baskets worth thousands. Life’s unfair and then you die. So..enjoy the ride and say “F@ck it!”

  9. The formula seems to be that the folks who don’t need entitlements get more but the folks who do need entitlements get less.

  10. IMHO this type of horseshit is the WORST type of corporate welfare. I was so proud of Ralph Nader. About 10 or so years ago the NE Pats were holding Ma. hostage and the city of Hartford[crumbling, crime ridden] proposed building a stadium to lure the Pats. Nader is a native Nutmegger and he lead a drive to stop it. Of course, the taxpayers of the Bay State footed the bill for a brand new stadium.

  11. I’ve always considered owners of pro teams a bunch of carpetbaggers, Al Davis of the Raiders and Front and rearie of the Rams. L.A. doesn’t have a pro football team and most people don’t miss it, you get moar games on TV without one.

  12. There are always 2 sides to a story. The real question is whether the city of Oakland can survive (or strive) without the A’s or Raiders? Has a study been conducted to determine the economic benefit and/or detriment of having a professional team, and then having that team leave? In St.Louis, Missouri, the Rams are threatening to leave if the Saint Louis city and county, and state of Missouri continue to refuse to upgrade their stadium as part of their deal (the deal was that if tax payers refuse to upgrade their stadium by 2014, then the Rams have the option of leaving). The new upgrades, according to the proposed deal, have to put the stadium amongts the top stadiums in the NFL. There is one problem standing in the politicians of missouri and Rams owners way: in 2005, missouri voters added a new state amendment requiring missouri voters to vote on any new stadium funding with tax payers dollars. Can this city of STL and state of missouri afford to lose the Rams? What will the economic impact be if they left? Can the state of missouri and STL afford to keep them? Will the voters approve of it? Stay tune………..

  13. The story implies the connect between cutting money to the police and millions for the football stadium. However, if the money came from the now defunct RDA, the city couldn’t have spent it on personnel.

  14. I am so glad they have priorities straight! The kind of extortion being engaged in by the Raiders is not unique. Sports Teams of all types engage in this type of game with cities all over the country and cities cave. This is true even though these expenditures never provide the claimed value to the city when the extortion prices is paid. But teams are not alone corporations extort grants, bonds, non recourse loans and millions and some times billions in tax breaks and tax payer provided improvements. Once the money is in the hands of the corporations often they leave looking for a new city or state to extort. Cities and states need to band together and say NO! Public Funding of billionaires’ toys has got to stop.

  15. Good for them….. They have there priorities straight…… Maybe the defensive ends could carry guns on the field…. And if the game didn’t go the way they wanted…… Heck…. Just shoot em…..

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