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As I See It

Packers draft more important than education?



Tourism is big business in Wisconsin. We saw that this weekend in La Crosse, the host of the annual state track and field meet. It is estimated that some 20,000 spectators attended the two-day event, with an economic impact of about $4 million. Much of that money comes from outside the immediate area, with family, friends and fans of competitors spending their money at La Crosse hotels, restaurants, bars and gas stations. An even bigger event will take place in Wisconsin two years from now, when the Green Bay Packers host the NFL draft. That event is expected to draw close to 300,000 people and have an economic impact of $94 million. That, however, doesn’t mean taxpayers should help foot the bill. But they will, if legislation passed by the Wisconsin Joint Finance Committee becomes law. Along party lines, Republicans, who control the committee, voted to allocate $2 million in taxpayer dollars to help defray the $7.5 million cost of putting on the huge event. The Packers, valued at more than $4 billion, can more than afford to put up the cash to host the draft, which will spur spending at Green Bay restaurants and hotels, but do nothing to help hard-working people in La Crosse. The same committee, which is giving handouts to billionaires, rejected funding for a second science building on the UW-La Crosse campus — also along party lines — and money for expanding broadband in Wisconsin. It seems they have their priorities wrong. Investing in education and internet access can help people throughout Wisconsin, not just hotels and restaurants in Green Bay.

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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  1. Char

    June 5, 2023 at 6:44 am

    We should no more give money for the NFL draft than the Brewers stadium. Those businesses have more than enough funds to be doing all of it on their own.
    Maybe the science building should be funded, but as far as ANY OTHER money toward education, forensic audits need to be done to find out where money is going now.

    • walden

      June 5, 2023 at 6:01 pm

      UWL does not need a third science building. Amen to the rest though, but not likely to find out where all that money went. For example, the La Crosse School District has not provided a list of where almost $10M of covid funds went. That was before they asked for $60 million referendum.

  2. Kent

    June 5, 2023 at 9:31 am


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