Admittedly, it’s hard to beat the tweet for this Deadspin item:
The Florida Panthers want the county to buy them a new scoreboard. Mostly for the Jehovah’s Witnesses convention. deadsp.in/bv0ADaf
— Deadspin (@Deadspin) May 14, 2013
It’s pithy, it’s funny, and it nicely gets across the point that the Florida Panthers are trying to get an extra $4 million in free upgrades to the arena they already got $185 million in public money for 15 years ago by putting out a completely insane list of events that they’ll only be able to draw if they get a new scoreboard, plus the insane amounts of money they’ll generate in “economic impact.” (The Jehovah’s Witness convention comes in at $96 million — “more than three times as much as an NHL All-Star Weekend,” notes Deadspin — and what’s a Jehovah’s Witness convention if you can’t have high-def replays, right?)
But just about any sports team worth its salt has a stack of ridiculous economic impact statements ready to go at a moment’s notice. What struck me about the story (which first appeared on the Miami Herald’s blog) was this amazing statement from team president Michael Yormark:
“We’ve put enough money into the building,” Yormark said. “We’re not in the position to buy one. If the scoreboard just collapses next year, which I’m sure it will, we just won’t have a scoreboard.”
This is, to my knowledge, the first time in recorded history that a sports team exec warned not that part of his building was in danger of falling down, not that he didn’t want to pay to fix it, but that it was literally in danger of imminent collapse and he was just going to stand by and watch it do so because why should he pay to fix it?
The Broward County commission, of course, was having none of this, and promptly told Yormark—
Update: The county commission voted in favor of funding a new scoreboard.