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January 24, 2012
Florida bill would enforce law to use public stadiums as shelters
A pair of Florida state legislators have unearthed an old law requiring that state-funded sports facilities be used as homeless shelters on days when there's no event on, and is out to enforce it. "These organizations have failed to follow the law for over 20 years," declared state rep Frank Artiles, co-sponsor of legislation that would require teams that have received public cash to return it if they don't obey the law. "This is the simply the State of Florida holding them accountable."
While it's hard to picture the Miami Marlins, say, setting up cots around the Red Grooms home run sculpture, the bill is certainly getting media attention, and now has attracted an amendment to require publicly funded stadiums to ban TV blackouts of games. Which sounds like it has even less chance of being enforceable, but it's certainly interesting, to say the least, to see what options people come up with for demanding conditions in exchange for public funding. Of course, it would be easier if somebody had thought to demand them before actually opening the public's checkbook...