Monday, September 22, 2014

Raiders raiding

Henry Cisneros, former San Antonio mayor and housing bubble coconspirator, invited the Oakland Raiders to San Antonio in July for a grand tour. The Raiders’ lease on the Coliseum expires at the end of the year, and Housing Hank is taking seriously owner Mark Davis’s threats to move to another city if he doesn’t get a new stadium.

This follow-up report on the courtship quotes Convention, Sports & Entertainment Facilities Director Michael Salawa:

They are very impressed with the Alamodome, and there is no question that it could accommodate their short-term needs to host football games.

Translation: The Raiders’ long-term needs require costly upgrades to the Alamodome, or, more likely, a new stadium altogether, the burden of which will be shared by taxpayers. The democratic process of getting taxpayers’ approval of a new stadium throws a wrench in the works, but interim mayor Ivy Tailor has wiggle room thanks to her fascist predecessor, vice presidential candidate Julian Castro. She recently pulled city funding from an unpopular $300 million streetcar plan, which conveniently frees up some dough to bake the Raiders a welcoming cake.

San Antonio is but one of the Raiders’ options. San Antonio has a small TV market, but its business and tax climate is preferable to Oakland’s or Los Angeles’s. (And it’s on a longer arc of survival. It’s been many years since anyone said, “Go west, young man.”) The tipping point could be the potential fan base’s amenability to vote themselves a tax increase in the near future. That choice prompts San Antonians interesting questions with difficult answers, like:

  • Texans are told ad nauseum we need more toll roads and more water infrastructure. Can rapidly growing San Antonio sustain growth at an even more rapid pace?

  • Do we want to take on a billion-dollar debt burden, given the tenuousness of our political ties and the post-democratic stresses the union is about to endure?

  • Other than Cisneros’s cronies in real estate, who will profit from an NFL team relocating to San Antonio?

  • Is more Californians moving to Texas a good thing?

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who is universally despised, doesn’t like the idea of a third NFL franchise in Texas. Neither do I. It’s not that I want to preserve the Cowboys’ market share. I want to preserve a winning local culture from foreign raiders. The NFL is a rotting corpse and, as its pressure on Arizona lawmakers during the SB1062 brouhaha showed, is an incubator of malignant liberalism.

Hopefully the caricature of “backwards” Texas will frighten Davis into staying close to his California roots.

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