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Waterfront Fronted

by on April 30, 2013

Buffalo’s outer harbor is like the Bills: most people struggle to remember if either was ever enjoyable. But there’s hope for increased activity at Lake Erie’s edge. Best of all for fans of both, the potential to thrive involves a franchise that is similarly renowned for evaporated promise. The future could be fun even if management just reached on a raw quarterback.

The Bills could use a stadium as much as Buffalo could, especially if people who actually wanted it found a way to pay for it without demanding contributions from all. As usual, count on the public sector to stand in the way of a private attempt to improve the area, even if just for symbolism’s sake. It’s not the Patriots but the unpatriotic football-hating government that stands in the way of progress:

A proposed plan to build a $1.4-billion dollar waterfront stadium in downtown Buffalo is now getting more interest.

“I think we should give it a chance,” said Buffalo Common Council Member David Franczyk

“It may have possibilities,” added Erie County Legislator Kevin Hardwick.

The land use would be upgraded from its current status as unused land:

A group called Greater Buffalo Sports & Entertainment Complex LLC (GBSEC) is hoping to get a land option on over 100-acres of outer harbor land so studies can be conducted to see if the project is viable.

The land is currently owned by the NFTA and the developers are willing to pay for a 9-to-12 month land option.

But the government has other plans for it, namely to keep it empty in case a better idea for use comes along. Also, you should stay single forever because you might meet a person you like more than your partner:

However, the NFTA is not currently interested in the idea because the land in question is already being looked at for other purposes.

The government is carefully planning to let the desolate parcel rot for a few more decades. Why should they care? They own it without having worked to acquire it, so they naturally see no need for fill the space above with something useful.

Unlike the Authority, a business is actually interested in bringing foot traffic to the city’s water boundary. Their plan to have the Bills actually play in Buffalo is particularly admirable if they’re sincere about not taking tax money to build an athletics ground. Companies only benefit everyone when everyone is not required to bankroll same companies.

Such a proposal is practical in that it doesn’t subtract in the name of addition. The alleged benefits of publicly-funded stadiums never factor in the virtually unrecoverable initial capital frittering.

It’s fitting that Ralph Wilson Stadium’s playing service is below ground, as taxpayers who fund its upkeep never get out of the hole. Orchard Park hasn’t quite gone from pleasant residential area to economic engine thanks to hosting seven regular-season games per year.

More pressing is the moral case against making regular folks subsidize a billionaire’s business. Liberals can’t decide between loathing the rich and feeling the economy will collapse without funneling direct cash payments to them.

If people really like football that much, they can support it voluntarily and directly through ticket purchases. Seats will be easier to afford once taxes are lowered as a result of the county not handing money to, say, sports tycoons.

A new building would be worth it just so Mister Wilson can no longer be the sort of egomaniac who slaps his own name on a venue owned by the county. The Bills bringing the Lombardi Trophy back to Mighty Taco Field will be the pinnacle of glory, as maximizing revenue through advertising is just another smart tactic used by any team really interested in winning.

The NFTA should be pleased someone wants to take the land off their hands, especially if the new party will have an incentive to care for it and thus draw visitors as a byproduct of pursuing a profitable venture. Plus, the developers can save money by not building the roof so Buffalo can maintain its hardy home-field advantage. It’ll be hard otherwise to pile snow on Miami’s sideline when they visit.

One Comment
  1. Horrible. This sounds almost identical to what happened with the Atlantic Yards/Nets boondoggle.

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