Cardinal Sin

It's welfare for the wealthiest

The Cardinals aren't willing to say how much of an increase is projected for a new stadium -- so much for the team's self-proclaimed public candor -- but it's a safe bet that the new revenues from club seats, posher luxury boxes and improved concessions would easily outpace the $19 million in debt service. And that's not including what the team would save from not having to do ancient-stadium maintenance.

In a nutshell, the Cardinals could do what the Giants did, but they simply don't want to. It's not that a private investment in a stadium would be so bad for the team. It's that a public gift of more than $250 million represents such a wonderful windfall.

That's why team owners are leveraging their monopoly status to play area governments against one another: They are hellbent on receiving their fair share of public assistance from someone. And they probably have the political clout to turn the unseemly prospect into reality.

Besides, the Cardinals have sentiment on their side:

Who can turn away from the sight of a starving multimillionaire?

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