John Oliver criticizes publicly funded stadiums [VIDEO]


If I were to wager a guess, I’d assume that the host of HBO’s “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” is not a fan of the deal that Minnesota made with the Vikings in regards to what is now called U.S. Bank Stadium.  In fact, the former comedian and “The Daily Show” correspondent spent nearly 20 minutes discussing why stadiums should be entirely privately funded rather than having the city or state where the arena is to be built to foot any of the bill.

That rant happened last night on “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” at the end of the program.  Although U.S. Bank Stadium wasn’t mentioned during the piece, the project definitely fits the bill with what he was saying.  The state of Minnesota and the city of Minneapolis on the hook for $498 million of the building’s construction cost.

In case you missed it, here is the video from the LastWeekTonight YouTube account:

There are many residents of Minnesota who already feel John Oliver’s statement is true.  There was a large public outcry about how new stadiums have little to no impact on the surrounding economy and it was also stated that the team should have footed the entire bill for the new facility.

However, there was one thing that was mentioned during “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” that the Minnesota Vikings didn’t resort to: the threat of leaving.  For many fans, it was implied that if the team didn’t get a new stadium that the team would likely move on, but the Wilf family never dangled that threat in front of the legislative body that voted on the approval of the new building.

In addition to talking about the threats of leaving, John Oliver also tore apart some of the crazy riders that come in those stadium contracts and the lavish (and completely unnecessary) features that can go into these publicly funded stadiums.  Things like indoor swimming pools and massive fish tanks were mentioned along with how teams like the Bengals have it in their deals that if holographic instant replays come along, that the public would have to pay to have the equipment installed in the stadium.

On a personal note, I really enjoy John Oliver’s comedy.  I’ve had the opportunity to see him perform live in Houghton, Michigan and was greatly impressed.  He has a very entertaining way of presenting information and has earned his success.  “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver can be seen Sundays at 10 pm central time on HBO.

Next: Minnesota Vikings 2015 Game By Game Previews

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