The president’s stimulus and youth sports
Another sign of Barack Obama’s ability to stimulate the economy, among other things.
Don’t let President Obama’s love of basketball fool you — the $825 billion stimulus package, as passed by the House, leaves youth sports and athletics in general decidedly unstimulated.
For example, here is the complete list of school projects you CAN’T pay for with stimulus money:
IMPERMISSIBLE USES OF FUNDS.—No funds received under this section may be used for—
(1) payment of maintenance costs; or
(2) stadiums or other facilities primarily used for athletic contests or exhibitions or other events for which admission is charged to the general public.
If you thought that money would be used to build your junior high a new football field, forget it. However, there might be some wiggle room for the basketball arena if it’s also used for PE classes and general school activity, as long as the work relates to updating it to Americans with Disabilities Act standards, or removing asbestos, or making it more energy-efficient.
Otherwise, there’s no mention of sports-related projects. Searching for “ball” only gets you sentences containing “suballocated.” Searching for “sport” gives you “transportation.” The “youth activities” are all related to job training.
Maybe someone will be able to finagle a hockey arena out of this, but the bill is very clear on what is and isn’t covered, and that every dime has to be accounted for and reported to somebody. So don’t expect to attend a ribbon-cutting at your town’s new, squeaky-clean, state-of-the-art Stimulus Fieldhouse.