St. Louis, MO — After listening to outspoken critics who maintain that new, publicly funded stadiums are a terrible deal for taxpayers, the City of St. Louis and their former NFL team Rams team owner Stan Kroenke have made steps to offset the ballooning costs of the new facility by converting the old and perfectly functional Edwards Jones Dome into a privately run prison facility.
“The Dome is a perfect solution for the greater St. Louis crime problem,” said Mr. Kroenke at an early morning press conference. “Kroenke Sports Enterprises wants the citizens of St. Louis to know we’re on their side. Everyone understands the value of recycling. So along with the great prosperity a new stadium will bring to the metro area. We can re-use the old facility as a prison to rehabilitate less desirable elements in our communities. And as we’ve all watched on television, St. Louis and its outlying areas have no shortage of illegal activity.”
There have been numerous studies in the past couple of years that noted that NFL team owners are the only ones who benefit from such large, publicly funded projects. In the case of the new St. Louis stadium, Kroenke is set to receive as much as $500 million taxpayer dollars to build a new one despite the fact that the team has relocated to Los Angeles. Unfortunately, regular citizens are set up for a net loss on such large municipal projects.
“I think this is sort of fanciful approach towards economic development instead of building excellent jobs,” said James Badwater of the University of Chicago. “And except for the construction, the jobs created by stadiums are generally low wage occasional work. The important thing that we’ve forgotten is ‘What is the purpose of a government?’ Instead of fixing their schools, fixing their roads or fixing their sewers, or fixing their water, cities are putting money into ephemera-like stadiums. And in the end, what’s more important?”
According to Kroenke Sports Enterprises’ Chief Financial Officer Don Blager, the sports conglomerate is branching out into the Private Prison business to manage this new facility.
“It’s both a growth opportunity for KSE and a way to show who community-focused we are,” said Mr. Blager in a conference call. “We want to be sensitive to the cost projections for the new stadium. And one way to control costs is to ‘in-source as much of the project operations to KSE as possible. We have a long history of running large organizations of people. A prison is not much different.”
According to project managers, the new detention facility could offset new stadium costs by as much as $100 million in its first 15 years of operation. And like most American entrepreneurs, Stan Kroenke has other ideas.
“Well, it’s still a multi-use stadium,” continued Mr. Kroenke. “So we imagine future phases where we might re-purpose the detention facility for other events. We’re foreseeing bringing other sporting events there. And think about the built-in labor for vending and other operations. We have a captive workforce built right into the facility. I’m telling you, this is going to be a win-win for everyone involved. You’re welcome, St. Louis.”