On July 26th, the California Memorial Stadium hosted its first international soccer game, which caused considerable disruption in the City. Frankly, the stadium’s design and location isn’t suited to such events. Even the playing surface had to be changed, from Astroturf to grass. As compensation, a City ordinance allows it to collect a tax of 10% of the gross revenues of any professional sporting event within its boundaries, and the courts have ruled that this applies to the University, because such events are not part of its core mission. The tax is worth a minimum of $600,000 to the City, probably much more, but we are not aware of any attempts to collect it. Why not, O Council? It’s not as if the City has large reserves of money. In fact, by some estimates, it has well over $1 billion (that’s not a typo) of unfunded liabilities.
by Nigel Guest, CNA