Monday, September 09, 2013

Stephen Ross & his donation

There was a lot of flap about Ross making a sizable donation to the University of Michigan last week.  Many asked why he didn't simply spend money to upgrade his stadium instead.

And while I applaud the sentiment, and appreciate that people asked, I think the effort is slightly misplaced.

With the stadium, he was aiming to get state subsidies and have money from the NFL, so very little money would have come out of his pocket at any time.  He was working, essentially, with "borrowed money" and there was no tax benefit to him.

With a large donation to a university there is a substantial tax benefit to making a donation.  Because its an educational institution, it benefits his bottom line directly.

So while I think he should just pay for stadium upgrades himself, asking why he didn't substitute one for the other misses the mark.  He does the things that benefit him financially, of course.

A better question would have been why he didn't make a contribution to any south Florida schools, charities, or other organizations.  As I've noted before, the fact that he does no philanthropy here, and hasn't contribution to the betterment of the community in which he owns a team, is really vexing.

Sure, he can give where he wants and when he wants.  It just strikes me as odd that he wants "our" money to help him make more money on his stadium - and gives large donations other places.  But not where he does business.

And then defends himself awkwardly.

That's my two cents.
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