REWIND: John Oliver Watch

Good Ol’ Johnny Boy, without you I would have to suffer through the second season of True Detectives. I wouldn’t wish that on Justin Bieber, and there isn’t much I wouldn’t wish on Justin Bieber. For all of the common folk out there, yes you, the individual not suckling at the teet of HBO, I will breakdown the major issue John Oliver tackles, as he most commonly does, in his sprightly, rosey posey-cheeked, British manner. This week? Stadiums.

Now before the masses of cheese steak-chomping, gold chain-slinging, beer-smuggling 700 Level fight clubbers that Philadelphia has (in)bred for going on countless generations remove the tops of their shovels and put pants on, let me point out that I love Philadelphia’s newish sports stadiums just as much as the next fan of sudden irrational anger, but there is a problem: the city has yet to bleach out the budget shit stain they left behind. Because here is the kicker: STADIUMS ARE PUBLICLY FUNDED. We bitch and moan about the crumbling infrastructure and failing schools, but we are easily distracted by the gee-whiz bells and whistles of these bright and shiny arenas, such as the solar panels on Lincoln Financial as they glimmer in the not incredibly frequent sun. Meanwhile, the team owners have the city by the balls, throwing a hissy fit and threatening to move out of town if they don’t get dessert before dinner.

Proponents of these publicly-funded sports stadiums say they more than make up their cost in financial stimulus, bringing in fresh money from the suburbs and beyond. There’s just one problem: It’s not working. Remember this past November when Live! Hotel and Casino got a new license? This should have been a HUGE RED FLAG to everyone, signaling that something isn’t working, they simply can’t keep people down in that area spending money. Why? Because we funded stadiums that were built in one of the most inaccessible areas of the city and surrounded by almost nothing of value.

Yes, a casino would create jobs, but those jobs won’t matter if the casino tanks because it’s in one of the most desolate areas of the city. As John Oliver stated last night, no money has come back to the cities that host these meccas of low sport and beer prices in the high teens. In other words, we were given a shitty deal Philadelphia. — MEGAN MATUZAK