Backfield in Motion

Ohlson thinks Mile High made new could be wondrous and intriguing, too, complete with shops that would make the stadium work not ten days a year, not thirty or forty days a year (he hasn't done a dome design), but year-round. And since Denver would still own the facility, sales tax from those shops could go to the city--instead of to the Broncos, who will likely receive every revenue stream from a new stadium, just as all funds collected at Coors Field flow to the Rockies. Keeping the old stadium would also keep $5 million going to the city each year from seat taxes, parking and concessions; what kind of concessions would be needed to allow the Broncos to break their lease, the city still isn't saying.

But what's another unknown figure on top of countless other unknown figures?
On Monday, the Independence Institute showed off some more number-crunching. Working off a report produced by a think-tank in Chicago, the institute reported that building a new stadium for the Broncos amounts to "football socialism." These large public-works projects never prove to be the economic boon they're billed as, the institute argues, and, in fact, offer no more than "tiny" economic benefits. "The Pat Bowlen welfare bill is grossly unfair to Denver taxpayers," says David Kopel, research director at the institute. "A family of four in Denver will have to give Pat Bowlen at least $530, and as much as a thousand dollars, if the Bowlen welfare bill became law."

Of course, Bowlen won't be standing along the Auraria Parkway in his leather Shaft jacket, holding his hands out for donations. He'll let his no-limits soldiers do the dirty work.

Time to run out for refreshments. The second half of the game begins next week, in the Local Government Committee of the House.

And just in case the legislature fails to provide, the Broncos have their bases covered: They've already sent a signed football to Cardinal Stafford, our man in Rome.

Given the lobbying team the Broncos are fielding, though, the House will probably fall just as the Senate did. The public has the right to vote on this issue, lawmakers say. But they fail to acknowledge that the public also has a right to assume that its lawmakers are negotiating the best possible deal--for the public, not for an NFL owner who cries poverty.

Even Webb sees the light on this one. As he told that neighborhood gathering, "Wouldn't it be nice if we had a rich rich owner of the Broncos instead of a poor rich owner?

« Previous Page
My Voice Nation Help