- Politics and Social Issues
Tampa Sports Authority Bills Taxpayers $37,600 for Food and Drink
It's Only (Taxpayers') Money
Last week, the Tampa Bay Times managed to run a TSA story more pertinent than its daily-dozen Trump-bashings. According to TBT, the taxing folks at Tampa Sports Authority (TSA) individually drank and ate more during 2016 halftime events than the largest mammals at Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo last year. These are the same board members who agreed to put up $3 million above and beyond the $26 million it previously gifted the Glazer family - the Buccaneers's billionaire owners - to build the new Ray-Jay stadium scoreboard. Turns out the 11 board members spent $37,600 on food and drinks in 2016 during Tampa Bay Buccaneers games and other stadium gigs.
Perks Likely Included Free Flow of Booze
It is not clear how much TSA board members spent on booze, but according to Tampa Bay Times’ Steve Contorno, the tens of thousands of dollars are in addition to the taxpayer-funds spent on the NFL scoreboard that does everything but spit nickels.
“There is no community value in allowing members of the Tampa Sports Authority board to gobble up free tickets, food and alcohol at football games and other events at Raymond James Stadium,” growls the TBT writer, who will probably be offered season tickets to write about something else before the next audit comes out.
Total Spending Averages $3,400 per Board Member
At no charge to taxpayers, it's easily calculated that the 11 TSA Board members would have to consume over $3,400 each in food and beverages to waste that many tax dollars at the stadium in 2016. The board is generally made up of double-dipping appointees who have relatively good-paying day jobs so it's unclear why you should foot their stadium bar tabs.
Not since 2005, when TSA embellishments sparked outrage after members billed taxpayers for more $1,000 in game-day catering bills, had the Times saw fit to call out the tax authority's board for bingeing at the public trough. Perhaps the Times’ will find enough white space between its anti-Trump bellowing to run a follow up on TSA's Binge-Gate.