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Some quick background: Syracuse University, a private school, wants a new football stadium. One of those fancy-schmancy ones with a retractable roof, costing at least $500 million.
All the power to them, they are private after all! Except that they want taxpayers to foot a huge chunk of the bill. And Lieberdem New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo was playing along:
Cuomo had signaled his willingness to provide some $200 million in state money for the deal, Mahoney said. The county was prepared to provide $100 million or more.
Apparently, New York has solved all its problems and has hundreds of millions of dollars burning a hole in its pocket. And why shouldn't Syracuse ask for that cash? Professional sports teams do it all the time! They shake down taxpayers with moving threats, and more often than not, it works! So, if Syracuse doesn't get that cash for their 12 annual football games, well then, they'll move the whole university to Las Vegas! Or Cobb County, Georgia! Or whatever other place is desperate enough for a sports franchise to piss away hundreds of millions of dollars on that. Right?
In any case, new stadium backers used local taxpayer funds to pay for a feasibility study. And then when it was finished, Syracuse University refused to share it with anyone, probably because it said that it was a stupid f'n idea to spend that kind of money on a shiny new football stadium in the middle of nowhere. The school wouldn't even share it with the mayor of Syracuse, because the report would then be accessible to news media via a Freedom of Information Act request.
In any case, the mayor's tough questioning has apparently scared off Cuomo for now. The state will find other ways to spend that cash in 2014. But that state money should never have been considered in the first place. Let private universities handle their own boondoggles, particularly for non-academic programs. There are few organizations more corrupt than the NCAA.