John Oliver Argues Public Money for Stadiums Is Bad in Inspirational Half-Time Speech

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America’s sports stadiums are insanely over-the-top. Some of them have swimming pools seemingly suspended in air; others are ringed with enormous glass boxes of fish spectators. “I’m not saying we shouldn’t have giant aquariums in ballparks full of terrified fish,” John Oliver argued on Last Week Tonight on Sunday. “Of course we should — this is America! If we don’t have them, no one else will! But we should not be using public money to pay for them.”

Oliver spent his show highlighting how very rich teams often rely on the kindness of strangers (i.e., taxpayers and city governments) when building stadiums that help make them even wealthier — and “look like they were designed by a coked-up Willy Wonka” — while not giving the city that helped build them much revenue. “We replace stadiums faster than we replace Spider-Man,” Oliver said, adding later, “Pretending you’re poor is wrong. It wasn’t okay when Mary-Kate Olsen went through her hobo phase, and it’s not okay now!”

He ended his informational campaign against using public money to build stadiums by putting on a baseball hat and channeling the inspirational cadences of all fictional coaches who came before him, as a soundtrack designed to make you feel very emotional about city finances played. 

What are you gonna do?” he asked his fake team in his fake locker room. “Make them pay!” 

John Oliver Says Public Cash for Stadiums Is Bad