Adultery is such a heinous sin the Ten Commandments not only forbids sleeping with a neighbor’s wife, the Commandments also forbid even thinking about it.
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) must be hoping his fellow chief executive in Virginia remembers that Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D-Va.) covets what is now his, the Washington Redskins.
McAuliffe is more than lusting after the NFL team that plays its home games in Maryland, he wants the team so bad he can taste it.
McAuliffe told TMZ Sports he was “aggressively” pursuing the Redskins because Virginia “is where they belong.”
“Sixty-six percent of the (Redskins) season ticket holders live in Virginia,” McAuliffe said.
And just as is the case in many relationships built on the sandy foundation of lascivious desire, those who are consumed by their lust for this team could be about to make an expensive mistake.
Gov. Hogan loves his Washington Redskins. He is not among the politically correct who hesitate to speak the team’s name. Hogan said repeatedly while running for his first term in office in 2014 that the Redskins should stay the Redskins.
In fact, Hogan called his opponent in the November election, Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, a “hypocrite” for refusing to speak the name of the team, even though Brown was a regular at the Redskins’ games.
“Anthony Brown went to every game with lobbyists and people he was trying to impress and big donors,” Hogan said. “And they were all wearing Redskins hats and Redskins jackets. They were all eating and drinking on the taxpayers’ dime.”
If there is any change to the name of the team, Hogan has said Washington should be replaced by Maryland. After all, that is where the team really plays its games — Maryland, not Washington D.C.
It would seem that Hogan has nothing to worry about. His neighbor may be coveting his team, but the Redskins have another 12 years to go on their lease at FedEx Field in Landover, Md.
But just as the neighbor’s wife who is being coveted sometimes encourages her lustful pursuit, the Redskins owner, Dan Snyder, has been making eyes at Virginia, and if not Virginia, maybe someplace else.
Team officials have made no secret of the fact they would like to have a new home field after the FedEx Field lease expires in 2027.
So like the neighbor of an attractive wife, Gov. McAuliffe senses an opportunity.
He does have some advantages. The Redskins might play their games at FedEx, but they are actually headquartered in Ashburn, Va. The team’s corporate headquarters is in Richmond, Va., and most of the team’s players live in northern Virginia.
McAuliffe said negotiations are underway.
“It’s got to make sense for Virginia. It’s got to make sense for the Redskins,” he explained. “But we are working very hard on it.”
As strong a play as Virginia could make based on geography, Washington, D.C., is another suitor making this a real menage a trois of governmental lust.
Why not? Half the team’s name is Washington after all. Mayor Muriel Bowser has said she could see the day when the NFL Super Bowl could be played in the District of Columbia. But she has also said the team should replace “Redskins” with something more politically correct.
The very notion of scratching Redskins from the team’s name is an abomination to owner Dan Snyder, so the nation’s capitol is probably out of the running.
But still there is that lust and another challenger for the Redskins that Gov. Hogan has to worry about.
Even if Maryland keeps the Redskins, there will be a price to be paid. It is like the way Carmella Soprano told Tony he would have to buy her a $400,000 piece of land if he wanted to move back home.
The Washington Post has reported the Redskins are going to need a facility that will cost at least $1 billion and taxpayers are going to have to help foot the bill.
But would it be worth it? As Alex Gold and Ted Gayer of the Brookings Institution pointed out, economists may not seem to agree on much, but almost to a man they agree taxpayers’ investment in a pro sports team is a losing proposition.
Gold and Gayer cite one example that should catch the attention of Gov. Hogan if only because it involves Maryland. In the mid-1990s, Maryland and Baltimore officials decided to build a new stadium being built for the NFL’s Ravens.
The projected benefits totaled $33 million against an investment that turned out to be $177 million.
There are three reasons sports stadiums usually don’t produce a good return on investment for the communities they call home.
To begin with, there is what economists call the “substitution effect.” The leisure dollars that local sports fans spend on their team are taken from some other leisure activity, or maybe even from the family food budget. Money that would have been spent somewhere in town anyway is spent to take the family to see the team play. It is not new money for the community.
Then there is the fact that most of the money spent by professional sports teams does not go back into the community that paid to build a new stadium. Between 55 and 60 percent of the revenue generated by major league sports teams goes right into the wallets of their players.
The impact of player salaries on a local economy depends on “leakage,” as the economists put it. Quite simply the community has to ask itself, “How much of a player’s salary will be spent in our town?”
Finally, a community that wants a major league sports team is often willing to write a very generous lease agreement that holds taxpayers liable for everything from infrastructure maintenance, to debt service obligations, to environmental remediation and sanitation.
But doesn’t having a major league franchise put a smaller town on the map? Economists John Siegfried and Andrew Zimmer wrote in their paper “The Economics of Sports Facilities” that is a fallacy.
Siegfried and Zimmer argue there is no empirical evidence to back up the notion that “businesses will relocate to a city because it is ‘big league.’”
“At the end of the controversy,” wrote Siegfried and Zimmer, “almost all cities have contributed public funds to subsidize private, for-profit teams owned by some of the wealthiest individuals in the world.”