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I've been holding off on this particular rant for a while, because it seems like there are more vital issues in the world today, but now I'm going to talk about the stadium.

There's this effort to bring the San Francisco '49ers' to Santa Clara. The people who are conducting this particular propaganda campaign are, shall we say, a little too enthusiastic, in a manner disproportionate to their minimal imagination. I get their slickly-printed literature in the mail. I think that by the third identical flier, I or any other sapient being will have made up their mind about the issue. I've received at least half a dozen by now. Now, my only mission in life is to torpedo this stadium in any way that I can. I'll burn the thing to the ground if I have to. Put a briefcase nuke in the football during kickoff. There's a tipping point where if you pester somebody long enough about something, they will become hostile to your point of view, simply because you're such a pest. And I was already hostile to it before I started getting the fliers.

Let me tell you about Santa Clara. In bay area terms it's a miniscule little place-- maybe not as tiny as Atherton or something, but pretty small –and the proposition is for it to host a nationally popular football team.

I bike down the street and I see sign after sign after sign supporting this nonsense. The way they try to sell this thing to sane human beings is that it will bring in all kinds of tax revenue which will leave Santa Clara swimming in gold doubloons, but nobody seriously believes or cares about that... they just think it would be super-awesome to have the Niners here in town because it would be so rad, dood. Let me put this to such individuals as delicately and succinctly as possible: SPORTS DO NOT FUCKING MATTER, YOU MORONS. It isn't worth trashing the entire economy of our city just so you can wave your little flags and have your Santa Clara 49ers bumper stickers.

But the supporting literature protests that the cost of stadium construction will be paid for entirely by the franchise. At least we'd get that much out of them. What about the cost of the infrastructure improvements we'll need to host a major sports team? Who's paying for that? Do you think we can soak up a hundred thousand temporary residents the way we are now? And you'll need a police presence at the venue, and emergency services, and you can't short the rest of the city while games are going on, so that's a staff increase, and the resources to support that staff... and you can just go on and on from there, about all the costs to the city which no one is talking about because they're just too psyched about having their favorite retards in butt pads play in their very own city. And you know the franchise is getting some sort of tax break to come here. There are certainly deep pockets involved, when there's so much promo material going around that its sheer volume is counterproductive.

If the stadium is approved, let me tell you how this is going to go down. Everything will seem fine for the first year or two; and then the team owners are going to go to the city and say that they really need more tax breaks in order to operate, with the implicit or explicit threat that they will move to another city if they don't get what they want; and Santa Clara will be too far in the hole after building the infrastructure and everything else to do anything other than keep the team here and hope it pays off later; and this will go on for a few years with concession after concession, until the city simply can't afford to bribe the Niners any further, and then suddenly the team will start making noises about how Santa Clara just isn't a suitable venue for them, and they'll end up going to Fresno or someplace. We'll be stuck with a huge debt, and all kinds of public and private facilities built to accommodate a demand which abruptly dries up.

On the other hand, the whole thing could just be a colossal scheme to trick the Niners' jealous lover San Francisco into giving them what they really want.
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June 2010

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