Monday, November 24, 2008

Nashville taxpayer bailout of Music City Bowl is a real loser with schools facing deficit and city cuts

Richard Lawson in today's City Paper bravely discards the local news media's traditional cheerleader outfit to put big-time sports in Nashville under the light of financial scrutiny.

And he reveals that the Music City Bowl was a financial loser last year despite a sellout crowd and a $300,000 rescue by Gaylord Entertainment. And the bowl has been in existence for 10 years. So why can't it get the needed corporate support to make it profitable?

Now for the worst part. City leaders decided that you the taxpayer should directly invest in the this fiscal black hole through the new Music City Event & Marketing Fund.

Now, these leaders will claim that residents are not paying the tax, visitors are on their hotel bills.

They're right. But that money could be going to schools that face a big deficit and a city that will have its local share of state aid slashed when the Tennessee General Assembly returns in January to deal with what will be a $1 billion deficit for the current budget year.

Read Lawson's column on Page 3. It is well-researched and a breath of fresh air from a member of the news media who has shown his first responsibility is to readers, not pon pom makers.

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