The more I learn about the Real Soccer Stadium, the angrier I get.
I missed a very important detail in a story I posted that contained a link to a news story that gave that detail. Which is this: the money the state of Utah allocated by state law to fund the Sandy soccer stadium is Salt Lake County hotel tax money. It would have been dunderheaded enough if they had allocated $35 million of surplus state funds--which is actually what I thought happened--at first. I'm tempted--so I will--to call what the State of Utah did to Salt Lake County extortion. (Actually, I looked "extortion" up on dictionary.com and one of the definitions is "to wrest...money...by...abuse of authority", so the shoe fits.)
Rocky Anderson came to the announcement festivities, but he doesn't have to worry about it , because it's not his money they stole.
Guess who the only guy was that wasn't invited to the party? Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon. The guy who looked at the deal and decided based on sound economic analysis that it was a lemon. The guy who ultimately had to pay for the deal whether he wanted to or not.
What the state did may have been legal, but it certainly wasn't right.
Another juicy tidbit passed me by in the last couple of news days. It seems that Mary Kay Huntsman, the Governor's wife, had a great deal to do with getting the State to put up the money. The Real Salt Lake soccer organization sent Ms. Huntsman a bouquet of roses--one for every million dollars she was able to influence the State to extort out of Salt Lake County.
Utah's first lady may have had more of an influence than a lavish bouquet of roses gives her credit for. The night Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon denied the county's share of hotel-room tax dollars for the stadium, Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. returned home to an upset wife.
"The truth be told, we would not be standing here without Mary Kaye's insistence that RSL stay here," team owner Dave Checketts said the day the House passed the bill 48-24. In the end, the bill garnered bipartisan support from the majority of the House and the Senate.
I wish a little bit more of the truth would be told. I would like to know what that was that she did to influence the desired result. I guess I'll be left to try not to imagine.