By Jeff Simpson
Basking in the lights of the Super Bowl, John Elway gave an interview to Fox News:
Well, it goes to what my beliefs are,” Elway explained. “I believe that we’re giving the opportunity to succeed or not succeed.”
“I don’t believe in safety nets,” he continued. “Obviously, we’ve got to have some kind of safety nets. But I think my philosophy is when given the opportunity to go take advantage of that, I think that’s when you get the best out of people.”
It was nice of John Elway to take time away from lobbying to have the taxpayers of Colorado build him a new stadium where he can do business, to explain the problem with safety nets.
In one of the most massive legislative lobbying efforts in recent memory, two dozen lobbyists have been drafted by eight groups to win a tax-subsidized stadium for the Denver Broncos.
According to state records, the Broncos and others are willing to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to win approval of a bill that would let taxpayers decide if they'll pay $266 million to replace Mile High Stadium.
"I've never seen such an aggressive effort on any piece of legislation down here, especially since there was no real organized opposition - no paid, professional lobbyists against it,'' said Sen. Mike Coffman, a 10-year veteran of the Legislature.
What's at stake that so much is spent on a legislative blitz? There are varied answers depending on who's talking, but most boil down to money.
Broncos owner Pat Bowlen says the new stadium is needed so the Broncos can stay competitive in the National Football League and to continue to get good players. His detractors say he needs it to raise more money for his company. The city of Denver says it wants to keep its NFL team. Other companies want to build the stadium, sell beer or just profit from a ride on the coattails of a winning team.
In case your wondering about their current stadium?
Year Opened: 2001
Cost: $400 million