After 25 years, football fever has subsided and today many of the city’s residents probably are wondering whether we really need the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Yes, the NFL team has been an economic stimulus. But it also has cost a pretty penny. Is anyone doing the math for a cost/benefit study?
Currently, billionaire owner Shad Khan is asking the city’s taxpayers to foot almost half the bill for a mega-development he would like to do around the stadium.
America still is – for the moment – a capitalist society. Real capitalists risk their own money when seeking a profit. Khan has plenty to risk.
Jacksonville already has built and rebuilt the stadium, ripped up its expressway system and paid for infrastructure that benefits the team and boosts Khan’s profits.
Now the billionaire owner and his millionaire players have joined others in the league showing contempt for America, and for law and order.
Unlike players during the early years, such as Mark Brunell and Tony Bosselli, today’s players are not all good role models for youngsters in the city.
USA Today maintains a database of crimes NFL players have been accused of, and it amounts to nearly 1,000 counts currently.
According to that source, there have been 36 Jaguar players accused of various offenses in the past 20 years, including assault and drug possession. Many were dropped. Favoritism?
Fans are leaving in droves. Is continuing to pony up millions still a good “investment” for Jacksonville’s taxpayers?
Periodically there is talk of the team moving to London. This is a tactic all owners in the league use to wrangle more money out of the cities where they are located. They play them against each other in a bizarre auction. There is no loyalty to the fans in any location.
Mayor Lenny Curry should ask his number-crunchers to do an accounting of the public money spent vs. the benefits to the city, and make it available to Jacksonville residents.
It might be an eye-opener.