The governor of Hawaii is a Western New York native, and he’s taking a pro-taxpayer stand against a subsidy for the NFL. The Hawaii Tourism Authority is paying the NFL $4 million a year for 2011 and 2012 to bring the Pro Bowl to Honolulu. The governor, Neil Abercrombie, says this is a waste of taxpayer money and the state should not kick in a subsidy to extend the deal for the all-star game. Abercrombie graduated from Williamsville High School in the 1950s then got a bachelor’s degree from Union College in Schenectady in 1959. The Transportation Authority says the Pro Bowl brings in $28 million in visitor spending, which netted $3 million in state taxes last year. The governor says the money would be better spent elsewhere.
Said Abercrombie last week: “You've got this spectacle of these multi-millionaires and billionaires out there arguing about how they're gonna divide it up and then they come and ask us to bribe them with $4 million to have a scrimmage out here in paradise. We've got to get our values straight and our priorities straight.”
Abercrombie likely would hold this view regardless of the lockout. But here's another case in which the NFL's labor standoff gives people more reason to look at the league with a more critical eye.