Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Stop Blaming Pete Corroon

(Warning: it's long. Better take a restroom break before starting. But be careful. I took a restroom break before the Super Bowl started, and almost missed the first touchdown. Don't worry, though. I'll wait for you. I have all day.)

It's understandable that everyone who wants a soccer stadium in Sandy is blaming Peter Corroon.

The problem is, it isn't his fault.

You see, back in 2005, plans were being made to build a soccer-specific stadium. Several cities were putting together proposals. Salt Lake had a beautiful proposal for a stadium downtown, as close to a proposed TRAX stop as the then-Delta Center. Salt Lake City would buy the land for the project, then create a Redevelopment Agency zone around the property to pay off the bond. Dave Checketts said repeatedly that he favored this proposition more than any other. The only one that had legs was Sandy.

Many of the leaders in the Utah Legislature favored the Sandy plan. They did this for two reasons. First, because they were Republicans, and Republicans live in Sandy, and are BYU fans, and therefore are sick of driving their soccermommobiles to the University of Utah. Second, because they hate Rocky Anderson. I bet that if Rocky Anderson were to take 100 Fat Boys to a Real Slat Lake game to give to the legislators on the hottest August day, he would come home with 100 melted Fat Boys. I hate Rocky Anderson, but I like Fat Boys more.

Anyway, the Legislators bassed a law in 2005 that banned the use of RDA funding for things like sports stadiums. Salt Lake city was forced to pull their downtown plan, but put up a plan to build a stadium at the Utah State Fairpark at the last minute. But it was too late. Sandy was awarded the stadium.

Then, because the stadium plan needed RDA funds, they magically (but not black magic, more of a grey magic) became legal again, with a big "just kidding" from the legislature. So, we have this stadium plan, but need to know the details of the funding.

Well, it turns out that in addition to private investors (which at this point were confidential), money was going to be needed from the City of Sandy, the State of Utah, Jordan School District, and Salt Lake County. Sandy and the state both said yes. JSD said "Heck no!" Sandy agreed to pay what they had planned on JSD paying. Which left Salt Lake County. They hadn't been asked if they wanted to partisipate, and were a little leery. You'd be too, if someone came up and asked you for a decent chunk of change with the promise only that you'd enjoy the benefits of their purchase, without the knowlee of how long they or the purchase would last, wouldn't you? If not, can I have a loan?

Well, Salt Lake County was led by a man named Peter. When Peter decided he wanted to be Mayor, he told the people that he would spend their money wisely, instead of foolishly. The people believed Peter. Well, most of the people. The Republicans didn't. They assumed Peter was like them. The Republicans say they are for spending money wisely, but then spend it willy-nilly. However, Peter was not about to spend the money willy-nilly. He agreed to spend the money if he could see the financial statements of the team. He was asked why he would want something like that. He said that he wanted to make sure the team would be able to afford to stay a while. The team told him not to worry, everything would be OK. Peter said no books, no money.

The soccer team said "We will not show you our books." Peter said "You will." "Will not!" "Will too!" "I'm not going to show you the books, and I'm going to hold my breath and threaten to move my soccer team to St Louis where I own a Hockey team I just purchased for about the same money I'm asking you for until you give me the money.....OK, maybe you, and only you, can see the books, but only some of them, because I don't want the other teams in my league to see that I plan on actually turning a profit, which only one of them has done, and that was a mistake that didn't repeat itself." So, the a book got handed over, and it looked fishy to Peter. So, he told the soccer team to go back and get all the books, because what he saw didn't match up to what the soccer team had said. The same back and forth took place, until some soccer player from England who played in Spain that has so hot he could melt 100 Fat Boys in the middle of January even though he was several years past his prime athletically (seriously, he's so sexy I'm surprised Chris Buttars hasn't banned him from the state yet) was coming to town, so we needed to break ground with SexySoccerStud, so the soccer team agrred to show the books again, but only to Peter. Peter said, no, it's not my money, it's the people's money, so show the books to the people. So the soccer team agreed, and the ground was broken.

However, no books were given for the people to look through. Again a back-and-forth happened, and finally, the people got to see what was in the books. At first, the books looked shiney and golden. Then, we saw that the books were just regular paper spry-painted to look gold. The books called for more people to be going to soccer games at double the price. The books said that 17,000 people would attend 17 concerts per year just 7 years from now, despite the fact that that many people have attended just 11 concerts in the past 5 years. Total.

However, Peter let someone study the numbers, just to see if there was something golden in the books. Dave Checketts said he only wanted what Larry Miller got. Larry Miller said that his books had been made of real gold, not spray paint. Dave Checketts called Larry a liar. Larry told Dave where to go, how to get there, and what to do with himself once he got there.

Well, the people who Peter asked to look at the books came back and said that, indeed, the books were made of paper, not of gold. Peter made the decision to not give the soccer team money, which made Dave Checketts, Rocky Anderson, and the Republicans mad. However, it made 70% of the people whose money would have been spent very, very happy.

So, for those 30% who are unhappy, who can you blame? The people you always blame: Rocky Anderson, the liberal media, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, gay people, public schools, Mexicans, hippies, or those crazy bloggers, but only the ones you don't read.

Just don't blame the guy who did the will of 70% of the people that are voting for him next year. You'll start to lose elections that way.


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