With a little over a week to go before Oklahoma City voters decide a March 4 referendum on a $122 million arena upgrade, the Oklahoman newspaper has urged a “yes” vote, saying that bringing the Seattle Sonics to town would help “our city continue the momentum that’s been more than a decade in the making” and “signal to others in the region, indeed around the country, that Oklahoma City is more than just that place where the awful bombing happened, and instead is a vibrant and growing city that wants to grow even more.” The Oklahoman editorial continues:
Opponents of the March 4 proposition lean heavily on class envy arguments, saying the team’s wealthy owners – all Oklahoma City businessmen – should pay for arena upgrades and a practice site if they want their team here. The reality is that taxpayer-funded facilities are the norm in pro cities. From Jerry Jones’ new home for the Dallas Cowboys to George Steinbrenner’s new Yankee Stadium, public dollars are helping pay at least some of the freight.
Leaving aside whether it’s “class envy” to complain about the rich getting a free ride at the expense of everyone else, this pretty much comes down to: “All the kids are doing it!”