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On the bright side

Other than not having to listen to the droning-babble about how brilliant the recent crop of Republican governors were, the horrible financial mess our state governments are currently in may have another bright side.

We may have seen the end of publicly funded sporting venues.

Yesterday, Pittsburgh's Sports & Exhibition Authority announced its plan for a $270 million new arena for the Pittsburgh Penguins, which includes a $90 million price tag for the State of Pennsylvania and $53 million for the residents of Allegheny County.

(Aside: one reason given for the necessity of a new arena is that it will help bring in bigger and better music concerts. But, this summer, the old arena has already booked Bruce Springsteen and the Rolling Stones. Pray tell, which bigger concerts will the new arena bring?)

This year, Pennsylvania faced a $770 million budget gap. Penn State University's state funding dropped $10 million, and similar cuts were made to the University of Pittsburgh, Slippery Rock, Indiana, and other Pennsylvania schools. Penn State raised its tuition 14 percent (in one year!), Pittsburgh by 13.5 percent, and the other schools an average of 9 percent. Does the Sports & Exhibition Authority really believe its going to get $90 million from the state? For hockey and bigger concerts?

They days of a team asking (or blackmailing) and the local government rolling over and building new buildings are over. At least for now.


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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on August 1, 2002 1:46 PM.

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