Home Editorials A sure way to finance the new stadium

A sure way to finance the new stadium

by William T. Robinson, Jr
William T. Robinson, Jr.

Nashville, the home city of the Tennessee Titans franchise, is progressing at an exponential rate. It is understandable that we would want to be able to compete with any other city when it comes to amenities attracting businesses and potential citizens. Thus, Nashville as well as the state of Tennessee, is looking at avenues to finance a $2.1 billon domed stadium consisting of 1.7 million square feet that will seat 60,000. This new domed stadium will put the Tennessee Titan franchise in a position to host a Super Bowl. But not all taxpayers are aboard when it comes to supporting a new open or retractable dome, citing understandable concerns.

Many taxpayers don’t see building a new domed stadium as a priority when compared to concentrating on affordable housing, mass transportation or dealing with traffic woes or handling the escalation of crime that comes along with growth. Many of Nashville’s taxpayers claim they cannot afford to attend the games at the stadium and don’t feel they should be taxed or put out in any way to help build or maintain the stadium. Mounting taxpayers are leery. They don’t believe those who claim the stadium will be built with minimal tax increases, diverting most of the future cost.

We are told that tourists will incur some of the cost by increasing the hotel tax. The Titan franchise will secure a large portion of the cost, along with the NFL, and private investors. However, you have a large group of taxpayers in Nashville who feel that the concerns of tourists shouldn’t outweigh their needs and concerns. They feel the stadium is only for bragging rights for avid Tennessee football fans. 

What if we could come up with a way that would ensure all if not a significant amount of the cost for the new stadium would be secured without putting the burden on the taxpayers? A poll by Fox 17 News Twitter found that 89.9% of 5,000 Tennesseans polled favored legalizing marijuana.  Legalizing marijuana would be the solution that makes the majority of Tennesseans happy. The monies generated could be used to finance the new stadium and maybe in some other areas, ease the financial pressure off taxpayers.

Possibly, the only ones standing in the way of this plan would be some lawmakers who are against legalizing marijuana regardless of the valid reasons being presented by supporters. These lawmakers adamantly dismiss the usage of marijuana even for medicinal purposes, ignoring their constituents begging to differ. But they cannot argue with study after study showing the medicinal advantages of marijuana as opposed to the usage of potent, addicting drugs used for pain. Tennessee lawmakers cannot even argue that by legalizing marijuana crime would increase. Studies from states that have legalized marijuana show that marijuana use has no adverse effects on crime rates. In fact, alcohol use has and will always play a bigger role in deaths, especially as attributed to driving. 

Cutting to the chase: maybe if marijuana were made legal, many sentenced to jail or prison as related to marijuana charges would have to be released or be reevaluated—and the prison system represents big money. Could some of these lawmakers be undercover lobbyists for the prison system? Gee, I don’t know. It just makes good sense to legalize marijuana, especially if it could be a way to finance the new stadium or other projects giving the taxpayers some relief.

Maybe Tennesseans should remember all the flack we got from lawmakers and even churches about bringing the lottery to Tennessee. But Tennessee lawmakers are tickled to death now and see the lottery as a blessing when considering all the money generated to fund education in the form of grants and scholarships. But at the time, the rhetoric by some lawmakers said the lottery would increase crime and pave the way to sending the state of Tennessee to hell—the same rhetoric by some Tennessee lawmakers overriding the will of the majority of the citizens to legalize marijuana today.

Legalizing marijuana and using the monies to help finance and support the new domed stadium is only a suggestion to consider. You can take the ball and run with it or sit back and listen to the naysayers who have no concrete answers about making everyone happy. Maybe supporters of a new domed stadium should take a closer look at the Tennessee legislators they elected.

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