Are we to believe that John Elway and the other Broncos, each of whom makes from hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars each season (with Elway making over $2 million dollars this year alone), are too poor to pay for their own new stadium? Perhaps Elway is behind on his car payments or barely has enough money to feed his family, much less pay for medical insurance. I'm sure that all the other citizens of Colorado will agree with me that we feel we are paying too little in taxes and have too easy a time making ends meet. Indeed, if John Elway needs help to afford toys for his teammates, the people of Colorado should give him a hand. He needs our help!

The financial difficulties of the Broncos can be highlighted by the fact that they will only net a few tens of millions of dollars this year from merchandise sales! These lackluster profits surely require the citizens of Colorado to give, give, give. Give until it hurts. I'm sure that's what John and Pat would say.

Those supporting a stadium will claim that it will make money for the city. But if it's financially viable, then why can't the Broncos pay for it themselves or get private investments?

Jawaid Bazyar
via the Internet

Bowlen is one of the most arrogant of the lot. He came to this country to pan for Colorado's gold and exploits the Bronco football fan as a means to improve his profitability. He has claimed that he requires a new stadium to become more competitive with other teams, but Bowlen won the Super Bowl because of unfair competitiveness. The Broncos have been over-competitive for 37 years. The Denver taxpayers and the fans have supported the Broncos by shelling out millions of dollars to purchase items made by children in China.

Bowlen is a three-time bankruptcy specialist. He hasn't a competitive cell in his body. Most immigrants are satisfied to earn a living and a place in the community, to work hard and be respected for their deeds.

Fredrick G. Clutsom

Like the birth of a baby, we have nine months to hear the whining and wailing of Bronco-baby Bowlen and his not-even-veiled threats. Like Monica's hug, let us see over and over again Pat's pronouncement of "This is war...There is no tomorrow!"

Howzabout a rejoinder like: This is our town and our money. There will be no quarter-billion-dollar handout!

So riddle me this, please. Why don't "we" just consider buying the Broncos ourselves? For a pittance of what Pat demands, we can end the every-decade shakedown of the Taxpayer and Sports Fan. We can also receive all the revenues for skyboxes, concessions, parking, TV rights and all the other football plums instead of giving them away to a shakedown artist for whom capitalism ends when it affects him personally. I think this end run on Baby Bowlen would put all the other points in their proper perspective. I also think we could get a good price, because the "new owner" Pat threatens us with will not pay too much for a team that can't move for twenty years. As odd as it is for Pat to understand, a lease is a contract, and contracts are supposed to be honored, even if they don't suit your ego or your pocketbook. Any threatened "new owner" should be reminded of this long before he comes to town. A town he will be forced to stay in and that will give him all the hatred that Bowlen has earned.

Only then should anybody ever consider voting a single sou to support another stadium. That, and only if the stadium is constructed so it can be used for more than just a playpen for spoiled millionaires a dozen times a year. A domed stadium that could host concerts, conventions and many other things besides a single use is the only suggestion that makes sense. A stadium capable of more than just football, and one that isn't regarded as the sole possession of the minority investor.

So only if the stadium and the Broncos are truly "ours" should we consider a public financing for what would otherwise be the private property of Pat. We must not vote even a penny for what would in essence be a taxpayer-extorted trophy for a spoiled billionaire.

Jeffrey H. Miller

Stuart Steers's February 19 article "A Whole New Ballgame," on the proposed tax increase for Pat Bowlen's new stadium, did a good job covering all points of view. I'd like to offer two clarifications about the Independence Institute's position on Bowlen welfare. First, as Steers reports, the Independence Institute will be producing a major issue paper calling for municipal ownership of the Broncos. We continue to believe that private entertainment companies like the Broncos should remain private. But if the taxpayers are going to have to pay for football, then the taxpayers should get to own the team.

As Steers points out, the NFL has a rule against municipal ownership. The problem with this rule is not that it's unconstitutional; the Constitution doesn't say anything of relevance. Rather, the NFL's anti-municipal rule is a restraint of trade that violates the Sherman Antitrust Act. The rule has already been held to be illegal by the Federal Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, in a case involving the New England Patriots.

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